Matthieu Pavon is not the only golfer on the PGA Tour with a tattoo but he might be one of the few with one that gives him a visual reminder every time he addresses the ball.
Pavon, a 31-year-old rookie who won the Farmers Insurance Open for his first win on Tour, has an inscription on his right hand that reads: “The saliva that flows now will become the tears of joy tomorrow.”
Pavon is a native of France, and the first from his country to win on the PGA Tour. Notably, the tattoo on his hand is written in English.
It’s not just the tattoo that inspires him. He says he often writes things down and then refers back to those thoughts often.
“It’s all about motivations. For me, it’s really important to have everything clear in my mind,” he said. “Since I won in Spain last year, I write down some notes in my book which bring me back to the present moment. You know how it is on the golf course, sometimes your head flies away a little bit and you have to get back to the present moment to refocus yourself. Sentences like they are telling me why I play golf, why I’m here. … they give me a little extra confidence.”
That confidence has been flowing so far in 2024. Pavon tied for seventh two weeks ago at the Sony Open in Hawaii and then tied for 39th at the American Express before breaking through at Torrey Pines, the longest course on the PGA Tour and the most difficult non-major venue from last season.
What added to Pavon’s challenge of seeing the golf course for the first time were the wet and foggy conditions early in the week.
“When I showed up, it was foggy. I mean, I couldn’t see 100 yards away from me, so I was like, ‘OK, nice, welcome to California,’” he said. “When we get to Friday [for the third round] it as like, oh, there is a fairway, there is the rough, there is a cliff. So everything was kind of brand new for me. … I just discovered the golf course totally on Friday.”
And then he discovered how to win on the PGA Tour.