8 things we learned from Matthieu Pavon’s charming post-win press conference

Matthieu Pavon of France poses with the trophy after winning the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South Course on January 27, 2024 in La Jolla, California.

Matthieu Pavon poses for a selfie with the Farmers Insurance Open trophy.

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Humble, funny, enthusiastic, thoughtful: Is Matthieu Pavon the hero golf needs right now? Judging by his charming post-round press conference on Saturday, the answer is yes.

The 31-year-old Frenchman won his first PGA Tour tournament at the Farmers Insurance Open in dramatic fashion on Saturday, hitting a masterful approach from heavy rough to set up a birdie on the 18th hole to win by one shot over Nicolai Hojgaard.

Pavon, a PGA Tour rookie who spent years playing on the DP World Tour (where he notched his first win last year at the Spanish Open), is still relatively unknown to American golf fans, but that will certainly change after his impressive performance at Torrey Pines. We have much to learn about Pavon, which made his winner’s press conference an entertaining get-to-know you session that revealed plenty of worthwhile nuggets about his life, in addition to showcasing his undeniable charm. Check out 8 highlights from Pavon’s interview below.

8 things we learned from Matthieu Pavon’s charming post-round press conference

1. He’s not afraid to take charge

With the tournament on the line, Pavon’s caddie suggested he lay up from a tough spot on the par-5 18th hole to save par and potentially get into a playoff. But Pavon opted for the riskier play.

“I was like, listen, Woody, like the lie doesn’t look too bad, I feel like I can do it,” Pavon said. “He said OK, but it’s your call (Laughs.) It’s my call. And I was so pumped at that time, I know I had the energy to lift that ball up on the green. I kind of aimed to the middle of the green knowing the face would close a little bit because it’s quite deep and thick. That ball came out like a butterfly and it really feed the slope on the green and left myself a nine-footer or something. That was the right time to prove I have the guts to finish that tournament and I did it so I’m so happy about that last hole.”

2. The story behind his eye-catching tattoo

Pavon’s right-palm tattoo got plenty of camera time during the final round, and he talked about its meaning after the round.

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“Sometimes your head flies away a little bit and you have to get back to the present moment to refocus yourself,” he said. “Sentences like they are telling me why I play golf, why I’m here. They show me — they give me a little extra confidence. I think it’s really keen in sports, the more confidence you get, the easiest it could be and those sentences are there for.

“The sentences, I read them like 100 times in only six holes,” he continued. “Just focus on this. I raise my head and it’s me to play, OK it’s just showtime. You try to commit to the shot, very focused and just try to do your best, that’s all you can do really.”

3. He’s a fan of the U.S.

“It’s a dream since I am 16, since I came to America for the first time to practice in West Palm,” Pavon said. “I loved everything about America, the mentality, the sport, everything you guys do. It feels like I’m an American somehow.”

4. He comes from an impressive sports family

“I come from a very sports family background,” Pavon said. “My mom is a golf teacher, my dad, football professional. Should I say probably soccer in America, but it’s football.

“Yeah, it’s big,” he continued. “He won the French Championship when I was young. I think we had a VHS tape with all the highlights of his seasons. We probably watched that 100 times with my brothers. This is how inspiring is my family.”

5. He had an A+ response to a question about his future

“Matthieu Pavon knows he’s going to go eat at Nobu tonight, that’s all I know, and playing in Pebble next week,” he said.

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6. He played soccer for 13 years — in his father’s shadow

“I played for 13 years. I wasn’t too bad, to be fair,” Pavon said. “That was a tough time for me because you’re always like the son of Michel, my dad. So that was an awkward feeling going on the pitch and hearing some of the (indiscernible) as a family and stuff like talking to you trashily and stuff. That was some tough time, but it makes you stronger, I guess.”

7. He conquered the yips

“I was about to quit golf, to be fair, just before turning pro because I had yips,” Pavon said. “It was 10 years ago, 11 years ago and I discovered a technique and I just worked on it so hard and become very familiar and something which is a weapon for me.”

8. He learned about humility from an early age

“The thing is, not being great when you’re young, you don’t have much expectations,” Pavon said. “They are not really high, to be fair. So every day I had a bad day on a golf course was kind of normal and every day I had a good one was amazing. So I always had positivity coming to me.”

Here’s hoping we hear more from golf’s newest star in the weeks to come.

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