France’s Matthieu Pavon makes history at Farmers Insurance Open
Pavon becomes the first Frenchman since World War 2 to win on the PGA Tour
Not only will Frenchman Matthieu Pavon remember his first victory on the PGA Tour, but his country will, too.
Pavon made history on Saturday, firing a 3-under par 69 to become the first golfer from France to win on the PGA Tour in the modern era with his victory at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.
Playing on Torrey Pines’ South Course, Pavon recovered from a bogey at the par-4 first hole to pick up five birdies against just one bogey for the rest of his round. He sank an 8-foot birdie putt at No 18, putting him at
13-under 275 for the week, allowing him to squeak past Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard.
Hojgaard landed in second with a 12-under 276 after shooting a 2-under 70 on Saturday on the two-time US Open course.
“You’ve got to take your losses with a smile sometimes because it makes you stronger,” Hojgaard said. “I definitely, I’ll definitely do my best to get a couple shots better.”
With the victory, Pavon became the first Frenchman since World War 2 to prevail in a PGA Tour event. The Tour’s modern era began in 1968.
“It is big because, as I said, I come from a special background,” Pavon said when asked if winning as a golfer from France had special meaning. “I think it is historic for the French golf. We have Celine Boutier, the French LPGA player who won Evian last year, which is an even bigger performance.
“It is big for us as a country. I hope it will inspire a lot of people because coming from an amateur player which is 800 in the world to a PGA TOUR winner, it’s pretty big.”
Adding to the spectacle is that Pavon was appearing in just his 11th career PGA Tour event.
“I still can’t believe it. As I said, it feels like there is another round to play tomorrow because we’re only Saturday,” Pavon said. “That is special. I can’t thank the PGA TOUR enough to give us the opportunity to come from Europe and compete here in America against the best players in the world. That’s always been the dream for me. I got finally a shot and I took it.
“I mean, it’s a dream come true and it’s a little bit hard to believe.”
A three-way tie for third featured Nate Lashley (67 on Saturday), Jake Knapp (69) and German Stephan Jaeger (72), who were all two strokes off the lead.
Jaeger entered the fourth and final round with a one-stroke lead, but he wasn't able to hang on. Still, he was satisfied with the position he had put himself in as he went for his first win on Tour.
“It was awesome, it was great. Listen, I didn’t have my best stuff golf game-wise. I battled, you know,” Jaeger said. “That was the story of my weekend here. But I didn’t have enough to really get going. I felt like if I putted decent, I’d have had a better chance of winning.”
Taiwan’s Kevin Yu, coming off a T3 finish at The American Express last week, shot a 67 to tie for sixth at 10-under 278 along with Beau Hossler (68) and Tony Finau (69).
Max Homa failed to defend his title at the event, finishing tied for 13th at 8-under 280. He had a 69 on Saturday.
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