Follett-Smith rallies local players ahead of FBC Zim Open

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Benjamin Follet-Smith poses with the winner's trophy after emerging triumphant at the Cape Town Open

One of the country’s top professional golfers Ben Follett-Smith believes local players can end a 24-year wait for a winner at the Sunshine Tour sanctioned FBC Zimbabwe Open Championship which takes place next week.

Sponsored to the tune of US$200 000 by FBC Holding Group who are title sponsors for the third year in a row, the Zimbabwe Open will see 144 golfer from across the globe compete for the top honours at Royal Harare Golf Club.

The event is set to run from May 5 to 12 with the main championship teeing off on May 9.

A colorful ceremony was held at the picturesque Royal Harare Golf Club to mark the launch of the FBC Zim Open 2024

With all of the country’s top players including Scott and Kieran Vincent; Robson Chinhoi and Stuart Krog available at the flagship event on the country’s golf calendar, Follett-Smith can see one of them including himself lifting the coveted title.

“It’s every Zimbabweans dream to win the home Open. It’s a big thing and obviously being 24 years now no one has won it from Zimbabwe. It’s important that we make a plan and hopefully one of us can pull it off. Definitely we are looking to give it a good try and would obviously love to see a Zimbabwean hold that trophy,” he told Standardsport.

“Obviously we have made an effort I know Scott and Kieran have and I know Robson will be, all of us have made an effort to practice and be at our best to be there and it’s nice to be able to be back although I am missing a tournament that’s happening in Spain on the Challenge Tour in order to play Zimbabwe Open.

“I think it’s a special accolade to have on your resume if you manage to win it. Obviously it’s a home Open and it’s nice to be there and play and get the support from the home crowd. I am looking forward to it and very ready to compete,” he said.

The 30-year-old golfer who has five professional wins including two on the Sunshine Tour.

The Vincent Brothers Scott and Kieran will compete in this year’s FBC Zimbabwe Open

Last week he was in action in the UAE Challenge on the Challenge Tour at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, finishing tied for position 25.

Follett-Smith has done very well on the Sunshine Tour and has a top 10 finish which he achieved at the Dimension Data ProAm in February.

Last month he tied for 17th place on an impressive 16-under par score at the Jonsson Workwear Open at Glendower Golf Club, Gauteng, South Africa.

The golfer was full of praise for the sponsors FBC Group for their support of the event but he hopes to see the tournament grow to become a European Tour event.

“Obviously having FBC support the Zimbabwe Open is good and they are supplying a competitive prize fund so that the players are always willing to come back and they are keeping it on the Sunshine Tour which is good. Hopefully we can grow and eventually have it on the European Tour which will even be better. Kenya has European tour events and lets aspire to try and get there,” he said.

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