Zimbabwe: Follet-Smith Returns to Action

29 October 2020

Sports Reporter

AFTER several months without taking part in a competitive golf event, Zimbabwe's Ben Follet-Smith returned to the course in the Sunshine Tour's Investec Royal Swazi Open yesterday.

He is the only local player taking part in the tournament.

Designed by golfing legend Gary Player, this 18-hole par-72 walking course is one of the top-ranked golf courses on the continent.

It proved quite a challenge to Follet-Smith who finished on minus four points.

The former Wingate-based player had an indifferent second round, which saw him dropping more than 10 strokes, in the last six holes.

Going into the second round, Follet-Smith was comfortably on plus four points.

But, a double bogey in the second round saw him drop in a tournament which is being played under the modified scoring system.

In a Modified Stableford, all golfers play according to a fixed score that represents "par."

Those who score lower than the fixed number gain points, based on their score, while those who score higher gaining zero points (or losing points, depending on the rules).

The Zimbabwean might have been affected by the format, which usually favours high-risk takers.

The scoring format will reward risk-taking.

For instance, if the golfer is facing a carry over water that he normally wouldn't try, the Modified Stableford format presents an incentive to go for it.

A birdie is worth twice, as many positive points two, as a bogey is worth punitive points minus one.

After yesterday's opening round, South Africa's Martin Rohwer was the overnight leader with 12 points.

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