Matthieu Pavon arrived in the press conference room wearing a smile from ear to ear. After 185 tournaments, he is finally a DP World Tour champion. He took the lead on Thursday and never let it go. The first question he was asked was if he was nervous when Rahm stormed through his opening holes in the morning. “It’s been two years since I led a tournament on Sunday. I didn’t watch anything. I don’t like watching before I play”, explained the Frenchman.
Regarding what it means to him to claim his first win, he was in no doubt: “This is an elite professional sport. It’s not at all easy to win. This is the fruit of all the hard work over recent years. It’s a massive achievement and I did it thanks to my family and my team”. The Frenchman was in tears as he left the 18th green and he explained that he was thinking of his grandfather, a Madrid native who fled to France during the war. Matthieu struggled to contain his emotions having won in the home city of his loved one.
He spoke humbly about his spectacular week, in which he covered four rounds of the Club de Campo course in 23 shots under par: “The course was playing very tough, more than last year. If it hadn’t rained on Friday things would have got much more difficult. Especially attacking the flags today”.
He was, once again, full of praise for the course. He has been saying it suits his eye all week because it is a fader’s course. Today, he also said that he played ten days ago on the Alps Tour and that tournament helped him in this week’s victory. “I have a good memory and I have many positive memories from there. It helped me visualise the holes. It really helped me”.
The fans in Madrid paid him a huge compliment: “I played last year with Rahm on Saturday, and I couldn’t tell the difference between the affection from the fans for him and for me. I feel at home every time I come here. I’ve felt the support of the Spanish fans from the start”.
He was reminded that his win takes him a step closer to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and he was surprised because he had not thought about it. “I didn’t have it in mind. I’ve just been playing tournaments, I didn’t think about that or the PGA Tour card. Now that you mention it, it’d be a great honour to represent my country if I manage to do it”.
He ended the press conference by explaining that the tattoo on the back of his hand is a phrase that he sees as a way of life. “The saliva that flows now will become the tears of joy tomorrow”. Matthieu, those tears of joy are here today. Congratulations.