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Farmers Insurance Open: Matthieu Pavon makes history by becoming first French golfer to win PGA Tour event | Golf News

Matthieu Pavon made history by becoming the first French golfer to win on the PGA Tour in the modern era with victory at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

Pavon shot three under par 69 to beat Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard by one shot with a dramatic eight-foot birdie on the last hole giving him the win.

With the victory, Pavon became the first Frenchman since World War II to win in a PGA Tour event. The Tour’s modern era began in 1968.

Pavon raised his arms in celebration and shouted before hugging his caddie after the putt rolled in as dusk began falling at the municipal course high above the Pacific Ocean. His only birdie on the back nine saved him from a play-off.

Stephan Jaeger, who led after the second and third rounds, was two shots behind Pavon in joint third with Nate Lashley and Jake Knapp.

Matthieu Pavon holds the trophy after winning the the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South in San Diego
Matthieu Pavon was playing in just his 11th PGA Tour event

“I have no words. It is amazing. It feels like there is another round to play tomorrow because we’re only Saturday!” said Pavon.

“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.

“I had almost no pressure coming, playing in America. It’s like it’s just an opportunity. If I fail, I could just go back in Europe and I start again.

“So it was just like trying to do your best every day, enjoy every moment because they are special ones, I can tell you there are very special ones and it looked like it worked.”

Matthieu Pavon
Matthieu Pavon made just one birdie on the back nine but it came at the final hole

Pavon took the lead on the 12th hole, built the advantage to two strokes and then missed a three-foot putt on the par-4 17th for a bogey that cut his lead to one stroke.

He appeared to be in trouble on the par five, 541-yard 18th when his drive landed in a sand trap, about four inches from the front lip. His second shot went 103 yards into the left rough, which was high because of heavy rain earlier in the week, with 145 yards to the hole. He responded with a brilliant third shot within eight feet.

The 31-year-old, who was born in Toulouse, was playing in just his 11th PGA Tour event. He has one victory on the European Tour.

What’s next?

Live PGA Tour Golf

Thursday 1st February 4:45pm

The PGA Tour stays in California for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the latest of their Signature Events and a limited-field event – being held at Pebble Beach Golf Links – offering a $20m prize purse. Rory McIlroy makes his first PGA Tour start of the year and Justin Rose returns as defending champion after last year’s three-shot victory.

Watch the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Featured Group coverage live on Thursday from 4.45pm on Sky Sports Golf ahead of full coverage from 8pm. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more on NOW.

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