Matthieu Pavon triumphs on the PGA circuit, a historic first for a Frenchman

By winning the Farmers Insurance Open in California on the PGA circuit on Saturday, Matthieu Pavon signed a resounding feat for French golf.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial


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Frenchman Matthieu Pavon celebrates his victory at the Farmers Insurance Open, in California, January 27, 2024. (AFP)

Frenchman Matthieu Pavon won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines (California, United States) on Saturday January 27, a historic and unprecedented feat for French golf on the PGA circuit in the modern era. Pavon, aged 31, won in only his third tournament on the North American professional circuit which he joined this season thanks to the fifth place snatched at the end of last year at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

“I don’t have the words, it’s incredible, I feel like there’s still one round left tomorrow (Sunday),” he declared, his voice trembling, at the microphone of the broadcaster CBS Sports. “It’s the greatest moment of my career, I’ve dreamed of it since I was a child. It’s been a long road. I waited seven years on the main European circuit to achieve my first victory, and I’m already winning in America. It’s just exceptional.”

“Off to a good start” for the Games

Pavon’s victory is the first for a Frenchman on the PGA for 117 years, the circuit announced on its X account (ex-Twitter). The son of footballer Michel Pavon (Toulouse, Montpellier, Bordeaux) allows French golf to continue its golden period, after the exceptional year 2023 of Céline Boutier, winner of her first major tournament in Evian, and finished in 3rd place in the world.

The Tricolores will have the opportunity to shine at home at the Paris Olympic Games (July 26 – August 11). “It’s one of my goals this year to qualify and represent my country in Paris. We can say that we’re off to a good start”, smiled Pavon at a press conference. The Frenchman returned a card of 69 on Saturday (three under par) for a total of 275, one stroke less than the Dane Nicolai Hojgaard and two less than the German Stephan Jaeger and the Americans Jake Knapp and Nate Lashley.

The Frenchman secured his victory at the end of a suspenseful finale in California, after entering the final day in second place in the provisional ranking, one stroke behind Jaeger.

Following on from his victory in Madrid

Pavon got off to a bad start on his last hole of the weekend by falling into the rough (the part between the fairway and the green), before coming out with class on the 3rd shot and sinking the following putt for a birdie (one shot under par, which is the predetermined number of strokes expected per hole) victorious on this par 5. The golfer from the South-West concludes a magnificent month of January after finishing 7th in Hawaii in mid-January for his first PGA tournament.

He won his first tournament on the European tour in October 2023 in Madrid. “This title proved to me that I was capable of great things. It gave me confidence. With my team, we do everything necessary to be competitive at the highest level.”

With his victory, the Frenchman, 78th in the world before this week, will make a jump in the rankings and has opened the doors to the biggest tournaments this season. “I had almost no pressure coming to North America. It’s just an opportunity. If I fail I can go back to Europe and start again. I enjoy every moment here, they are precious moments”he added.

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