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Golfbet recap: Frenchman Matthieu Pavon holds on for surprise win at Torrey Pines

3 Min Read

Golfbet News


    Written by Brady Kannon @lasvegasgolfer

    Matthieu Pavon, a 31-year-old rookie from France, birdied the final hole to pull off an unexpected win at the Farmers Insurance Open in just his third start as a PGA TOUR member. Pavon has been playing on the DP World Tour since 2017 and won last year for the first time in October at the Open de España. Heading into San Diego, Pavon had finished seventh at the Sony Open and 39th last week at The American Express before grabbing the top prize at Torrey Pines on Saturday.

    We saw Thomas Detry double-bogey the final hole on Friday to lose the 54-hole lead, and it looked like we might see something similar out of Pavon down the stretch in the final round. His playing partner and 54-hole leader, Stephan Jaeger, made three bogeys in his final seven holes to fall out of contention. The third member of the threesome was Nicolai Højgaard, who continued to find the rough off the tee and was stuck at 11-under. Making seven straight pars to begin the inward nine, Pavon was cruising along with a two-shot cushion at 13-under.

    But after a short miss on No. 17 and a final tee shot into a bunker on the home hole, Pavon was up by just one shot, and the tournament still hung in the balance. But minutes later, he hit the game-winning shot, sticking his approach to within 8 feet from deep rough that led to a title-clinching birdie after Højgaard's eagle attempt missed by inches.

    Matthieu Pavon odds to win Farmers Insurance Open (via BetMGM Sportsbook)

    • Pre-tournament: +15000
    • After Round 1 (T34, trailed by 5): +25000
    • After Round 2 (T3, trailed by 2): +1400
    • After Round 3 (T2, trailed by 1): +700

    In the end, it was approach play and putting that got it done for Pavon, both on the 72nd hole and throughout the week. He ranked third and fifth in those categories, respectively, gaining nearly 5.5 shots on the field with his irons and almost six strokes with his putter.

    It was another win for the record books, and yet another longshot champion on TOUR to start the new year. One week after Nick Dunlap became the first amateur to win since 1991, Pavon became the first Frenchman to win a TOUR event since 1907. BetMGM Sportsbook had Pavon listed at +15000 to start the week, and that price drifted higher after the opening round. It marks the fourth straight week that the eventual tournament winner started the week at +15000 or higher at BetMGM.

    Pre-tournament outright picks from Golfbet experts

    • Ben Everill: Jason Day (+2500) MC
    • Will Gray: Harris English (+4500) T64
    • Chris Breece: Harris English (+4500) T64
    • Matt DelVecchio: Sungjae Im (+2000) MC
    • Rob Bolton: Xander Schauffele (+900) T9
    • Mike Glasscott: Jason Day (+2500) MC

    Now the scene shifts north to Pebble Beach Golf Links, where a field of 80 will contest the season’s second Signature Event. The handicap for next week will have some similarities to Torrey Pines: both are coastal courses with Poa annua putting surfaces where scrambling is a key skill set. While Torrey Pines has relatively small greens, the surfaces at Pebble are the very smallest on TOUR.

    We’ve also seen some crossover success between the two California tracks. Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson and, of course, Tiger Woods, have all had tremendous success at both venues. We may also need to find a “mudder” in our handicap, with the forecast calling for rain in the Pebble Beach area beginning Wednesday and lasting through the event.

    Rob Bolton Sleeper Picks and Golfbet Insider results

    • Aaron Rai To Win (+10000) T33
    • Will Zalatoris Top 5 (+800) T13
    • Nicolai Højgaard Top 10 (+400) 2nd
    • Taylor Moore Top 20 (+350) T70
    • Peter Malnati Top 40 (+350) MC
    • Michael Kim Top 20 Finish (+320) T37
    • Ludvig Åberg Top 20 (+100) T9
    • Collin Morikawa/Xander Schauffele Both Top 10 (+275) MC/T9
    • Akshay Bhatia Top 20 (+300) T13
    • Bronson Burgoon Top 40 (+350) T50
    • Harris English Top 20 (+188) T64
    • Will Gordon Top 40 (+200) MC
    • Aaron Rai Top Englishman (+275) T33
    • Sam Ryder Top 20 (+350) MC
    • Alex Smalley Top 40 (+125) MC
    • Jhonattan Vegas Top 40 (+240) MC

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