Get used to hearing his name more often, U.S. golf fans, because Matthieu Pavon of France is here to stay.
For the second consecutive tournament, Pavon will be part of the last group in the final round of a PGA Tour event. Last week, he entered Saturday’s final round trailing Stephan Jaeger by one shot at the Farmers Insurance Open. He went on to win in historic fashion.
“I can’t really explain it, but I think it’s just a combination of many things,” Pavon said after firing a 6-under 66 during Saturday’s third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“I got better and better since I won my tournament back in Spain six months ago. Then I got my PGA Tour card, and now I come to America with some confidence in myself and my game. I think that’s the key. If you want to play good golf, you must be confident. All you can do after that is take a positive attitude and try to hit the best shot every time you show up.”
Pavon had all the confidence in the world when he hit the shot of the tournament last week on the 72nd hole. He showed up in the clutch, even when the odds were against him.
He has shown up again this week, leading the entire field in total birdies made through 54 holes. He made eight birdies Saturday, two of which came on Pebble Beach’s most challenging holes: the par-4 9th and the par-4 10th.
“It was a pretty good round today. Overall, very solid tee to green,” Pavon said.
“Only missed two shots, which ended up in the wrong spots, so I made two bogeys. I’m really pleased with the way I fought back every time. Got some good birdies and a nice birdie on 18 to finish the round.”
The Frenchman ranks second in overall strokes gained, trailing only Wyndham Clark.
On the leaderboard, Pavon trails Clark by two shots at 15-under par.
But regardless of what happens on Sunday—or Monday due to the forecasted inclement weather—Pavon will be ready.
“I’m going to prepare myself for tomorrow,” Pavon said.
“We heard it’s going to be bad, so the only thought I might have is how much rain the golf course can take because it’s still quite [damp]. So we’ll see, we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow, and we’ll see if we play tomorrow, Monday, or not at all, I don’t know.”