Pavon makes a slice of French history on PGA Tour

Pavon makes a slice of French history on PGA Tour

Pavon made an eight-foot putt for a dramatic birdie on the 18th at Torrey Pines South on Saturday (local time) for a one-shot victory in the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

He 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.

With the victory, Pavon became the first Frenchman since World War II to prevail in a PGA Tour event. The Tour’s modern era began in 1968.

Pavon’s only birdie on the back nine saved him from a play-off.

His final-round three-under 69 put him at 13-under, one stroke better than Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard.

Pavon was two shots ahead of third-round leader Stephan Jaeger, Jake Knapp 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, then missed a three-foot putt on the par-4 17th for a bogey that cut his lead back to one stroke.

He appeared to be in trouble on the par-5, 541-yard 18th when his drive landed in a bunker, about four inches from the front lip.

His second shot went 103 yards into the left rough, which was high because of heavy rain on Monday, with 145 yards to the hole. He responded with a brilliant third shot to within eight feet.

“I have no words. It is amazing.” – Matthieu Pavon.

Pavon, who was born in Toulouse, was playing in just his 11th PGA Tour event. He has one victory on the DP World Tour.

The Frenchman pulled into a tie for the lead with Jaeger with a birdie on the par-five 9th.

They stayed tied until the par-four 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 then made a 24-foot par putt on 16 to stay two strokes ahead leading into the final two holes.

RELATED: Inside Pavon’s winning bag

Taiwan’s Kevin Yu, coming off a tie for third at the American Express last week, shot a 67 to tie for sixth at 10-under 278, along with Americans Beau Hossler (68) and Tony Finau (69).

Defending his title, Max Homa finished tied for 13th at eight-under after a 69 on Saturday, while Aaron Baddeley was the best of the Australians in a share of 37th on four-under, with Min Woo Lee a shot further back in 43rd.

Jason Day and Harrison Endycott missed the halfway cut.

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