Margate’s Curlewis recaptures form at Cape Town Open

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South Coast Sunshine Tour campaigner Andrew Curlewis was in good form at the RAM Cape Town Open at the weekend.

Margate Country Club’s resident pro started well with rounds of 67 of 64 before losing some shape with rounds of 76 and 73 at Royal Cape Golf Club.

However, he was still up there and finished joint eighth – a pleasing result for the Tour veteran.

Zimbabwean Benjamin Follett-Smith claimed a two-shot victory over Zander Lombard and Jean-Paul Strydom on a total of 13-under-par 275 to win his maiden Sunshine Tour title.

Still in his rookie season on Tour, Follett-Smith admitted that he came into the final aiming for a top-10 finish but got more than he’d expected at Royal Cape.

“I am happy to be able to show that I can win,” Follett-Smith said. “It is a great thing for me, at least, and not to prove anything to anyone else that I can win. I will be able to establish myself on Tour and be able to say I am actually worthy of being here.

“I came out here today thinking that I just need to finish in the top-10 so that I can get into next week at the Dimension Data Pro AM so I won’t have to play pre-qualifiers next week. It is really great for me to win this at this stage of my career.”

On a day when the wind was up and swirling for most of the time, it looked as though either of Lombard, Strydom or Peter Karmis would go on to win at Royal Cape, but a brilliant back nine catapulted the young Zimbabwean to the top spot.

He opened his round with a bogey and four pars later, made his first birdie. At the turn, he made another par as the wind made things difficult but from there on, there was no stopping him.

He made three consecutive birdies from the 11th through to the 13th before taking a par on the 14th. Another three birdies on the trot got onto his card as he carded a bogey-free 30 on the homeward stretch.

“I played the back nine so well,” he noted. “My putter was hot and everything. I could read the lines and everything was just going well for me. It all started on the par-five eleven, where I made a birdie. I made a good up-and-down, which was nice.

“I made a good putt there and two more on 12th and 13th then made a par. After that I made three birdies and the last hole I was driving, I hit it on the left, it actually bounced when it hit the flag and I had to up-and-down.”

Tied for second on 11-under-par, Lombard and Strydom will feel they were in with a real chance at winning but when it’s not your week, it’s not your week.

Follett-Smith will now look forward to the rest of the season with a degree of confidence after his display at the oldest golf club in the country.

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