Matthieu Pavon extended his arms, turned to the crowd and gave a thunderous fist pump.
Pavon, who not even four months ago was ranked 228th in the world, was brilliant down the stretch Saturday at the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, California. His birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines’ South Course gave him his first PGA Tour victory after a thrilling final hole.
The 31-year-old Frenchman, a rookie who earned his card thanks to his top-10 finish in the DP World Tour standings last year, is now a PGA Tour winner. He conquered Torrey Pines, shooting 3-under 69 on Saturday to capture his second victory in the past three months, the other coming at the Spanish Open on the DP World Tour.
In Saturday’s final round, Pavon bogeyed his opening hole before rallying with four birdies in the final six holes on the front nine. Consistent play highlighted his back nine. His seemingly lone mistake, a wayward tee shot on the par-3 16th into a greenside bunker, he escaped trouble with a huge par putt while Stephan Jaeger, who led heading into the final round, missed a shorter birdie putt to keep the gap at two.
On the 17th, Pavon missed a short par putt to drop his first shot since the opening hole and made his lead only one standing on the 18th tee. Nicolai Hojgaard, who was one shot behind Pavon, striped a tee shot down the fairway while Pavon’s ball drifted left into a bunker.
The lie was terrible, and he pulled his second into the left rough. Facing a thick lie, he smashed the ball and it landed roughly 20 feet from the hole before moving back within 10 feet. Meanwhile, Hojgaard was on the green in two.
Hojgaard’s eagle putt narrowly missed, leaving 3 feet for birdie, but Pavon knocked in his birdie to hold off Hojgaard.
Pavon’s recent stretch of hot play includes a T-7 at his Tour debut at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and six top 10s in his past 10 worldwide starts. Even better, his victory will likely move him into the top 60 in the world, meaning he’s almost guaranteed a spot on France’s roster for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.