Matthieu Pavon won the Farmers Insurance Open to become the first French player to win on the PGA Tour since Arnaud Massy in 1907.
The 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie was playing in his 11th Tour event and shot a three-under-par round of 69 to win by one shot at Torrey Pines in San Diego. He sealed victory with a birdie on the 18th to finish on 13 under, a stroke ahead of Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard.
“I still can’t believe it. It is big for our country,” Pavon said. “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 is pretty big.”
Pavon recovered from a bogey at the first hole to pick up five birdies in the remainder of his round at the Torrey Pines South Course. After his eight-foot birdie putt at the 18th, he roared in celebration and then hugged caddie Mark Sherwood.
Pavon, who finished 15th in the DP World Tour’s order of merit in November to earn one of 10 spots that were available on the PGA Tour to European players not otherwise qualified. said: “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 got a shot and I took it.
“I think it is historic for French golf. We have Celine Boutier, the French LPGA Tour player who won Evian last year, which is an even bigger performance.”
Hojgaard finished in second after a closing 70, while Germany’s Stephan Jaeger and American duo Nate Lashley and Jake Knapp tied for third place on 11 under.