From start to finish. No concessions. No hesitation. Rock solid like a champion and as if he has been winning titles his whole life, France’s Pavon claimed the first victory of his career at ACCIONA Open de España presented by Madrid. He took the lead in round one and never let it slip from his grasp. After four rounds of seamless golf, he found himself 23 shots under par. An easy-looking, bogey-free 64 on Sunday earned him his first DP World Tour title.
He needed 185 tournaments to become a tour champion and he did so with the peace of mind of a man who knew that his moment had arrived. He was not about to miss out on this opportunity. He started his day with a birdie, as if to declare that the three second-place finishes under his belt, and any nerves he may have been suffering, were not about to take away his long-awaited ‘W’. A further three birdies in the first seven holes earned him the right to relax as he made the turn. More than those birdies, though, the way he handled the tough shots he faced on the second and sixth holes at Club de Campo, where he rescued himself from some deep rough to make some clutch pars is a testament to his strength of character.
For one hour, Rahm’s shadow was drawing nearer to the top of the leaderboard. But the Frenchman was unperturbed. In fact, the way Pavon dominated on Sunday in Madrid looked very similar to the Spaniard’s performance here in 2022. From his first tee shot on Thursday, to his final putt in round 4, the 30-year-old never wavered. In fact, he was only two shots short of the tournament record set by Rahm last year (-25). Such was the new DP World Tour champion’s dominance this week.
That is Matthieu Pavon. Victories are to be enjoyed, and if the fans are relentlessly cheering on the last five holes, even better. However, the Toulouse native was stone-faced until he holed out on the 18th to finally achieve what every player dreams of doing as they set out on their career. To his credit, the Frenchman has never thrown in the towel, he has continued to fight into his 30s. This afternoon in Madrid his dedication paid off. Matthieu Pavon has converted his sweat and hard work into the tears of a champion.