2024 Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard, grades: Matthieu Pavon becomes first French winner since World War II (2024)

For the first time since World War II, a man playing under the French flag has laid claim to a trophy on the PGA Tour. Matthieu Pavon emerged from an eclectic leaderboard on the cliffs of La Jolla, California, to snatch his maiden PGA Tour victory at the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open. The 31-year-old rookie grabbed hold of the tournament late in the final round at Torrey Pines and reached 13 under to clip runner-up Nicolai Hojgaard by one stroke.

With his win, Pavon will gain access to the rest of the signature events on the PGA Tour calendar in 2024. He will receive invitations into the Masters, the PGA Championship, and the Players Championship – all of which will serve as debut appearances. The Sentry awaits him in 2025 if he wishes to begin his year in Maui. In essence, doors have been opened.

Pavon has been walking through them with some consistency since the fall. Winning the Open de España on the DP World Tour for his first career win, Pavon parlayed his success in Spain to more of the same at the DP World Tour Championship. Four straight birdies to end his year on the European circuit were enough to see Pavon climb his way inside the top 10 and secure his PGA Tour card. In just three starts in the United States, Pavon has secured his status for two more years.

"I have no words," Pavon said. "It's amazing. It feels like there is another round tomorrow. I don't have many words, just a big thank you to all my team, to my family for everything so far that they have done for me. It has been a long journey. I waited seven years on the main tour to win back in Europe and finally I got a win in America. It's tremendous."

It was not the man from France but rather a man from Germany who held the lead to begin the final round. Stephan Jaeger possessed a slim one-stroke edge and ballooned his advantage to three with a pair of tap-in birdies on Nos. 2 and 3. Pavon had lost three strokes to Jaeger across the first three holes, but after the nerves were shaken, the quality shined through.

Four birdies in a six-hole stretch to close out his front half put Pavon in pole position alongside Jaeger heading into the pivotal back nine. Par after par after par was all that was needed before a couple wild closing holes as Jaeger struggled with his ball striking and pursuers like Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele faltered on the greens.

Hojgaard held steady exchanging a bogey on the par-5 13th with a birdie on the par-4 14th and found himself with a chance when the leader flared his 4 iron on the long par-3 16th into the greenside bunker. A chunked second set Pavon up for heroics. Converting his par save from just inside 23 feet, Pavon avoided a potential two-shot swing with Jaeger and walked off the green with his two-stroke lead intact.

However, just as it seemed a stress-free stroll to the winner's circle would be his, Pavon blinked. Needing three putts on the 17th green, the top man dropped his first shot since the first hole and saw his edge get cut in half. The nerves persisted with his tee shot on the par-5 finisher as Pavon found the fairway bunker after Hojgaard striped his center cut.

Laying up in the thick rough, Pavon opened the door ever so slightly. Hojgaard walked towards it with a laser approach to 40 feet to set up an eagle chance. However, there would be no one else but Pavon walking through this door as he mustered up the courage to attack a dangerous front left pin with his third. A birdie bid from 8 feet was the result, and once Hojgaard missed, Pavon slammed the door shut behind him with a victorious putt heard from his native land in France.

"I've dreamt about it [winning on the PGA Tour] since I was a kid," Pavon said. "I came to America after high school to practice here and get familiar with what could be my dream. I had so much support … it's just a dream come true." Grade: A+

Here are the grades for the rest of the leaderboard at the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open

T6. Tony Finau (-10): Big Tone will walk away from Torrey Pines feeling as if he let this one slip through his grasp. Striking the ball beautifully all week, the six-time PGA Tour winner appeared keen on matching his tee-to-green prowess with some timely putting early in his final round. Gaining more than a stroke on the greens across his first nine holes, Finau crept closer to the leaders before the flat stick betrayed him on the back nine where he missed five putts inside 8 feet. Grade: A-

T9. Xander Schauffele (-9): Schauffele followed in the footsteps of Finau in delivering a fantastic tee-to-green performance and a forgettable putting display. Despite his inability on the greens, Schauffele has cashed his third straight top-10 finish to begin his 2024 season. The next step in this progression of solid play is to contend for a trophy as he has failed to get himself in the mix deep into a tournament. Grade: A-

T13. Will Zalatoris (-8): Is he back? After some struggles in his first few tournaments since returning from injury, Zalatoris looked like the golfer who was a major fixture the last few seasons. Gaining strokes throughout the bag, Zalatoris was able to sync up some nice putting via the broom stick with his ever-reliable ball striking. While much is made of his back, Zalatoris is also undergoing slight swing changes that looked to take hold this week. Grade: B+

T13. Max Homa (-8): The defending champion struggled on the greens throughout the week, and despite an early Saturday charge was never able to threaten the lead. Homa got as low as 9 under after an eagle on the par-5 6th but missed putts from inside 10 feet on the following three holes saw him back track ever so slightly. While this year's Farmers Insurance Open did not result in his fifth title in the state of California, it resulted in another quality result. Homa now has 11 top-21 finishes in a row dating back to last summer and should start running downhill as he is slated to play each of the next three weeks. Grade: B

MC. Collin Morikawa (--): After a strong opening round on the North Course, Morikawa was chewed up and spit out by the South Course en route to missing the cut. The weekend omission puts an end to a six-tournament top-25 streak and a perfect record at Torrey Pines. Morikawa had previously cashed three top 25s including a top five at the 2021 U.S. Open and a podium finish in last year's Farmers Insurance Open. He tees it up in next week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the first time in his career and could serve as a nice bounce back spot as the California swing heats up. Grade: F

As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or expertise. However, I can provide information on various topics based on the data I have been trained on. Regarding the concepts mentioned in the article you provided, let's discuss each one:

PGA Tour

The PGA Tour is a professional golf tour that organizes tournaments for male golfers. It is one of the premier golf tours in the world and features some of the best golfers competing for titles and prize money. The PGA Tour consists of a series of events held throughout the year, including major championships like the Masters, the PGA Championship, and the Players Championship. The tour attracts players from around the world and is known for its high level of competition and prestige.

Farmers Insurance Open

The Farmers Insurance Open is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour. It is held annually at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California. The tournament has a rich history and is considered one of the premier events on the PGA Tour schedule. It attracts top golfers from around the world and offers a significant purse and valuable FedEx Cup points. The tournament is sponsored by Farmers Insurance, a major insurance company in the United States.

Matthieu Pavon

Matthieu Pavon is a professional golfer from France. He recently won the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open, marking his first victory on the PGA Tour. Pavon emerged as the champion from a competitive field and secured his maiden PGA Tour victory by finishing at 13 under par, one stroke ahead of the runner-up, Nicolai Hojgaard. With this win, Pavon earned access to other prestigious events on the PGA Tour calendar, including the Masters, the PGA Championship, and the Players Championship. This victory is significant as it is the first time since World War II that a man playing under the French flag has won a trophy on the PGA Tour.

DP World Tour

The DP World Tour is a professional golf tour that features events held in various countries around the world. It is part of the European Tour, which is one of the leading golf tours globally. The DP World Tour provides opportunities for golfers to compete and earn valuable ranking points and prize money. Matthieu Pavon won the Open de España on the DP World Tour, which was his first career win. He then continued his success by performing well at the DP World Tour Championship, securing his PGA Tour card and establishing himself as a promising golfer.

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines is a renowned golf course located in La Jolla, California. It is known for its scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and its challenging layout. The course has hosted numerous prestigious golf tournaments, including the Farmers Insurance Open and the U.S. Open. Torrey Pines is highly regarded by both professional and amateur golfers and is considered one of the premier golfing destinations in the United States.

I hope this information helps! Let me know if there's anything else I can assist you with.

2024 Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard, grades: Matthieu Pavon becomes first French winner since World War II (2024)
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