Matthieu Pavon made an 8-foot putt for a dramatic birdie on No. 18 at Torrey Pines South for a 1-shot victory within the Farmers Insurance coverage Open on Saturday that made him the primary Frenchman to win on the PGA Tour.
He raised his arms in celebration and shouted earlier than hugging caddie Mark Sherwood after the putt rolled in because the municipal gem excessive above the Pacific Ocean glowed underneath the late-afternoon solar.
“I’ve no phrases. It’s wonderful,” the PGA Tour rookie, 31, mentioned moments after the victory.
Pavon took additional inventory of his historic accomplishment after he had an opportunity to soak within the second. He mentioned he virtually stop golf 10 years in the past due to the yips.
“It’s huge for our nation,” he mentioned. “I hope it would encourage lots of people, as a result of coming from an novice participant which is 800 on the planet to a PGA Tour winner is fairly huge.
“I nonetheless cannot consider it,” mentioned Pavon, who grew up taking part in soccer — his dad was an expert participant — earlier than switching to golf. “It appears like there may be one other spherical to play tomorrow as a result of we’re solely Saturday.”
The Farmers ended Saturday to keep away from going up in opposition to the NFL’s convention championship video games.
Pavon’s final-round 3-under 69 put him at 13 underneath, 1 stroke higher than Nicolai Hojgaard. Pavon was 2 photographs forward of Stephan Jaeger, who led after the second and third rounds, Hojgaard and Nate Lashley.
French-American Martin Trainer gained his first PGA Tour occasion on the 2019 Puerto Rico Open, an alternate occasion, however did so whereas representing the USA. He later switched his nationality to France.
Pavon took the lead on the twelfth gap, constructed the benefit to 2 strokes after which missed a 3-foot putt on the par-4 seventeenth for a bogey that reduce his result in 1 stroke.
His solely birdie on the again 9 saved him from a playoff.
He gave the impression to be in bother on the par-5, 541-yard 18th when his drive landed in a sand lure, about 4 inches from the entrance lip. His second shot went 103 yards into the left tough, which was excessive due to heavy rain Monday, with 145 yards to the outlet. He responded with an excellent third shot inside 8 ft.
After watching Hojgaard’s 300-yard drive down the center of the golf green, “I used to be like, ‘OK, it will be spicy now. I might need to do a birdie or one thing particular,'” Pavon mentioned.
After ending up within the lure after which not getting again to the golf green, he and Sherwood mentioned whether or not he ought to lay up or go for it.
“I used to be like, ‘Hear, just like the lie would not look too dangerous, I really feel like I can do it.’ He mentioned ‘OK, nevertheless it’s your name.’
“It is my name. And I used to be so pumped at the moment, I do know I had the power to carry that ball up on the inexperienced. I form of aimed to the center of the inexperienced understanding the face would shut a bit bit as a result of it is fairly deep and thick. That ball got here out like a butterfly and it actually feed the slope on the inexperienced. That was the suitable time to show I’ve the heart to complete that event and I did it so I am so glad about that final gap.”
Pavon, who was born in Toulouse, was taking part in in simply his eleventh PGA Tour occasion. He has one victory on the European Tour.
Pavon pulled right into a tie for the lead with Jaeger with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. They stayed tied till the par-4 twelfth, when Pavon made a brief par putt to take the lead whereas Jaeger missed his for bogey.
Pavon rolled a 34-foot putt good on 14 that may have given him a 3-stroke lead. He made a 24-foot par putt on 16 to remain 2 strokes forward and pumped his fist.
Pavon mentioned it has at all times been his dream to play in America.
“Since I got here to America for the primary time to apply in West Palm, I liked every little thing about America; the mentality, the game, every little thing you guys do. It appears like I am an American someway.”
He mentioned he has felt no strain taking part in in America. “If I fail, I may simply return in Europe and begin once more. So it was similar to making an attempt to do your finest day by day, take pleasure in each second as a result of they’re particular ones.”
Pavon remembers watching this event on TV a number of occasions. He bought his first take a look at Torrey Pines in individual within the rain and fog on Monday, when he walked the South Course with Sherwood and simply three balls and a putter to check the greens.
“It was foggy. I imply, I could not see 100 yards away from me, so I used to be like, ‘OK, good, welcome to California.’ “
He shot an opening-round 69 on the North Course on Wednesday after which an excellent 65 on the South Course on Thursday that had him simply 2 photographs off the lead.
As he started his second spherical, “It’s like, ‘Oh, there’s a fairway, there may be the tough, there’s a cliff. So every little thing was form of brand-new for me. However I used to be disciplined on my foggy apply spherical on the place might be the pins and I had a very good take a look at it.
“You already know, it appears like when you do not actually know what you are going to be confronted with and you have no expectation, that is typically while you present the very best and that is clearly what occurred.”
Data from The Related Press was used on this story.