Moneyball – Pavon cashes in early in maiden PGA Tour season

Mark McGowan
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Matthieu Pavon (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Frenchman Matthieu Pavon was the week’s biggest winner when he topped a leaderboard with strong European representation at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Saturday night, taking home the $1.62 million first prize.

Pavon graduated to the PGA Tour via the top-10 non-exempt finishers on the 2023 Race to Dubai route. Pavon’s 2023 – his best year to date on the DP World Tour – saw him win once, amass seven additional top-10 finishes, and finish 15th overall in the Race to Dubai. And he won a little over €1.5 million for his entire year’s work.

As well as almost equalling his entire year’s earnings in one week on the PGA Tour, Pavon is guaranteed his Augusta National invitation, a PGA Tour card through 2026, and the distinction of becoming the first French winner on the PGA Tour since it’s inception (Arnaud Massy’s 1907 Open Championship win is officially recognised as a PGA Tour victory, even though it occurred long before the PGA Tour’s existence).

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Shane Lowry’s final-round albatross, the first of his professional career, helped the Offaly man to a share of 25th, and the three-stroke gain was worth roughly $38,000, with the eight-way tie for 25th paying out a little over $66,000 as opposed to the $28,000 and change he’d have gotten for T43.

Back on the DP World Tour, Thorbjørn Olesen, another of the Race to Dubai PGA Tour card recipients, is making the most of his decision to remain on the mother tour as the Dane cruised to a six-stroke win in Ras Al Khaimah, but his financial reward was less than a third of that won by compatriot Pavon in California.

Olesen’s $428,000 may seem small in comparison, but it still dwarfs the $262,500 earned by Nelly Korda for her dramatic bounce-back, following two bogeys and a double with an eagle and two birdies – one on the first playoff hole – to deny Lydia Ko back-to-back victories to start 2024.

Tom McKibbin’s four-way tie for 16th in Ras Al Khaimah was worth $33,617, while Padraig Harrington picked up his first paycheck of the year, but will barely cover expenses with a shade over $4,000 for a T70.

Leona Maguire’s 2024 is yet to spark into life, but her consistency again saw her finish tied for 31st, good for $13,532.

Selected prizemoney payouts from the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open

1 Matthieu Pavon $1,620,000
2 Nicolai Hojgaard $981,000
T3 Nate Lashley $477,000
T3 Jake Knapp $477,000
T3 Stephan Jaeger $477,000
T25 Shane Lowry $66,262.50

Selected prizemoney payouts from the DP World Tour’s Ras Al Khaimah Championship

1 Thorbjørn Olesen $427,867.01
2 Rasmus Højgaard $277,204.84
3 Frederic Lacroix $158,587.20
T16 Tom McKibbin $33,614.91
T70 Padraig Harrington $4,375.17

 

Selected prizemoney payouts from the LPGA Tour’s Drive On Championship

1 Nelly Korda $262,500
2 Lydia Ko $163,689
3 Megan Khang $118,745
T4 Lucy Li $82,897
T4 Ayaka Furue $82,897
T31 Leona Maguire $13,532

 

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