Cape Town – Benjamin Follett-Smith won his first Challenge Tour title with a second victory at the Cape Town Open after a dramatic final day at Royal Cape Golf Club on Sunday.
The Zimbabwean posted a two under par final round of 70 to finish on 15 under, one clear of South African Jaco van Zyl and Frenchman Ugo Coussaud who had set the target after a six under 66.
The 28-year-old, who won the Cape Town Open in 2019 before it became co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the Challenge Tour, made a crucial par save on the 17th hole to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
Follett-Smith was delighted to secure his second victory in Cape Town and he now moves to Number One on the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
“This event has always been special for me,” he said. “Cape Town is one of the best places in Southern Africa and I love coming back here. I have such good memories from 2019 and I always feel comfortable at Royal Cape.
“Today was an anxious round for me and I think that up and down for par on 17 proved to be the key moment so I’m very happy with that.”
Follett-Smith admitted he has struggled to find a level of consistency over the last two years but credited a combination of self-belief and hard work for his recent upturn in form.
“The last couple of years have been tough so I’m really proud of how I’ve managed to turn things around,” he said. “In my first year on the Sunshine Tour I picked up a win and Rookie of the Year but since then I have really struggled. I realised how important practice is and since then I’ve just worked harder and harder and now I’m starting to gain confidence again.
“Having my friends and family here this week was amazing and I just want to say thank you to the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour for coming together and putting on such a terrific event at this historic golf club.”
Englishman Alfie Plant posted a six under par round of 66 to finish fourth on 13 under alongside Italian Andrea Pavan and South African Martin Vorster.
South Africans Darren Fichardt, Brandon Stone and Dylan Mostert shared seventh place on 12 under with Irishman Conor Purcell, Switzerland’s Benjamin Rusch and Spaniards Manuel Elvira and Ivan Cantero Gutierrez.
The Road to Mallorca will now travel to George for the Dimension Data Pro-Am from February 9-12, the second of four consecutive co-sanctioned events with the Sunshine Tour.
Follett-Smith enjoys playing in Cape Town 💬#BainsWhiskyCTOpen pic.twitter.com/QjvGNYOCiW
— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) February 5, 2023