SAN DIEGO — Matthieu Pavon made an 8-foot putt for a dramatic birdie on No. 18 at Torrey Pines South for a one-shot victory in the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday that made him the first Frenchman to win on the PGA Tour.
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 playoff.
His final-round 3-under 69 put him at 13 under, one stroke better than Nicolai Hojgaard. Pavon was two shots ahead of Stephan Jaeger, who led after the second and third rounds, and Nicolai Hojgaard and Nate Lashley.
“I have no words. It is amazing,” the 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie said moments after the victory.
Pavon took the lead on the 12th hole, built the advantage to two strokes and then missed a 3-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-5, 541-yard 18th when his drive landed in a sand trap, about 4 inches from the front lip. His second shot went 103 yards into the left rough, which was high because of heavy rain Monday, with 145 yards to the hole. He responded with a brilliant third shot within 8 feet.
Pavon, who was born in Toulouse, was playing in just his 11th PGA Tour event. He has one victory on the European Tour.
Pavon pulled into a tie for the lead with Jaeger with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. They stayed tied until the par-4 12th, when Pavon made a short par putt to take the lead while Jaeger missed his for bogey.
Pavon rolled a 34-foot putt just right on 14 that would have given him a three-stroke lead. He made a 24-foot par putt on 16 to stay two strokes ahead and pumped his fist.
AP golf: https://apnews.com/golf