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Pavon wins Madrid by 4 shots to Lombard

Pavon Madrid Bangkok one

“Matthieu Pavon powered to his first DP World Tour title in wire-to-wire fashion, winning the Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid by four shots in the Spanish capital. The Frenchman arrived at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid with three runner-up finishes on both the European Challenge and DP World Tours, but despite his consistent performance over eight seasons, he had never won a European Tour group event.

One of his runner-up finishes was at this event 12 months ago, but this time he looked poised to clinch victory from the beginning. He opened with a 63 and followed it up with rounds of 68, 66, and 64, finishing at 23 under par for a convincing win. South African Zander Lombard carded a bogey-free 64 to finish as the closest competitor, one stroke ahead of England’s Nathan Kimsey and two strokes ahead of Germany’s Marcel Siem and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti. Pavon secured his first professional win on the Alps Tour in 2014 and added another in 2015. In the same year, he earned a Challenge Tour card by reaching the final stage of the DP World Tour Qualifying School. His consistent performances on the Challenge Tour led to a sixth-place finish on the Road to Mallorca rankings.

Since then, he has finished in the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex in every year except one. Before his victory, Pavon had already recorded four top-ten finishes in 2023, including a second-place finish at the Open d’Arcachon and another at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. This win comes in his 185th DP World Tour appearance and in the city where his late grandfather was born. As Pavon choked back tears after sinking the winning putt, he expressed, “My grandfather would be very proud of me. A part of my heart is here in Spain; my grandfather was from here.

I thought about him throughout the course today, and it was difficult to hold back the tears. But now, I can let them flow a little bit.” He added, “It was a long wait. Seven years on the DP World Tour, no victory yet, and I hadn’t won on the Challenge Tour before, so it was a long wait, but it was really worth it.” Pavon emphasized staying focused on each hole and managing his emotions as key elements in his win. He began the final day with a two-shot lead and extended it with a birdie at the first hole, followed by an up-and-down par at the fourth. Siem, who was three shots behind, made an eagle on the fourth and recorded seven birdies and a bogey in his opening 14 holes. He provided a moment of excitement by holing out from 102 yards at the 15th, bringing the gap to one stroke and setting up the possibility of a 59. Although he had a chip for the magic number on the last hole, he fell short. Nevertheless, his round of 61 was his lowest in 520 DP World Tour events, beating his previous record by three shots.

Despite the intense competition around him, Pavon remained calm and composed, sinking a 20-foot putt from off the green at the sixth hole and making a two-putt birdie at the next to maintain a three-stroke lead at the turn. He continued his momentum, hitting an approach to three feet at the tenth, sinking a 39-foot putt at the 12th, and leaving himself a six-foot putt at the 13th, extending his lead to six strokes. The other members of the final group, Kimsey and Lombard, also had exceptional rounds. Kimsey made gains on the second, sixth, seventh, and 14th holes, while Lombard recorded birdies on the first, fourth, fifth, eighth, 14th, and 15th holes.

Their efforts reduced Pavon’s lead to five strokes. Lombard birdied the final hole after a successful sand save, while both Pavon and Kimsey finished with pars. Zanotti finished a stroke ahead of Frenchman Julien Guerrier and English pair Dan Bradbury and Richard Mansell, who carded rounds of 67, 66, and 65, respectively. Defending champion Jon Rahm closed his week with a 64, finishing at 14 under par alongside fellow Spaniard Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, French duo Romain Langasque and Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Scot Ewen Ferguson, Dane Marcus Helligkilde, Kiwi Daniel Hillier, and Finn Kalle Samooja.”

 

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