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Paul Barjon wins final Korn Ferry Tour event to return to PGA TOUR

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Daily Wrap Up


    Written by Stephanie Royer

    NEWBURGH, Ind. – It was a dramatic day at Victoria National Golf Club, as players oscillated in and out of the top-30 bubble of the Korn Ferry Tour Points List. Caddies scrutinized their phones, refreshing the leaderboard and doing mental math. Thirty PGA TOUR cards were solidifed after play ended.

    One man was completely disconnected. Paul Barjon picked up his second win of the season and cruised to a three-shot win with a final-round 68 at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance. He moved from No. 45 to No. 8 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, cementing a spot in the top 30 for a PGA TOUR return.

    Paul Barjon’s Round 4 winning highlights from the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Championship

    "I think the last time I looked at the PGA TOUR app was a couple nights ago I think and I looked at 30th, I think I'm about 700 points and I think it was like basically have to score 150 points or so, which I figured it would be somehow in the top five," explained Barjon after the final round. "As you said, I'm not sure exactly what I had to do, but I was like if you finish in the top five, you'll probably give yourself a good chance.

    "I didn't look at the leaderboard all day and I told my caddie, let me know if I need to do anything crazy. ... he told me no, you're fine, you've got a couple to spare."

    The Texas Christian University alum opened the tournament with pedestrian rounds of 72-70, then shot an 8-under 64 on Saturday – tying for the best round of the day – to vault into the lead. He solidified his lead with birdies on Nos. 1, 3 and 6 and then bounced back from his first bogey of the day, which came at No. 8 after having to take a drop, with a birdie on the ninth. He dropped a lengthy eagle putt on the 10th and never looked back.

    Paul Barjon sinks putt for eagle at Korn Ferry Tour Champ

    It was the third time he's converted a 54-hole lead into a win.

    "I feel like I tend to show up every now and again when it matters. I feel like the lead is a position I like to be in. I've never really came from behind in the last round and made it happen, but I feel somehow comfortable being in the lead coming in the last nine holes of the event," said Barjon.

    Paul Barjon’s interview after winning the Korn Ferry Tour Championship

    Barjon opened his season with back-to-back missed cuts and continued to struggle, only accruing one top-25 finish in his first 12 starts, but then shocked the field with a win at the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS in July. He jumped a full 119 spots to No. 28 on the Points List, but followed this performance with streaky play, struggling to stay in the top 30.

    “Yeah, no, it's a great feeling to get back on the PGA TOUR and to do it last minute. I'd rather not have to play good at the last event and know two months ago that I was on the PGA TOUR, but it is what it is," he said.

    Originally from France, Barjon moved to the Pacific island of New Caledonia at age 2 before moving back to his native country at age 16.

    He made his Korn Ferry Tour debut in 2017 but after losing status played on PGA TOUR Canada, winning the season-long race in 2019 to return. Barjon earned his first PGA TOUR card in the 2020-2021 campaign.

    Of all of his successes, he unhesitatingly proclaimed this one the best. “The others were nice, but this one I knew, I knew what I had to do. The other one I didn't really expect to turn out that way. This one I knew what I had to do and I did it,” he said.

    Third-round co-leader Josh Teater fell out of the lead early and was in jeopardy of finishing outside of the top-30 bubble. Unable to afford a dropped shot in the finishing stretch, he holed a 15-foot par putt on the 17th hole and then two-putted for par on the 18th to become one of the five players to move into the top 30 and earn PGA TOUR status for the next year, joining Mac Meissner, Josh Teater, Wilson Furr and Roger Sloan. Ben Kohles ended the season as No. 1 to secure full PGA TOUR status for the 2024 season and a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship and U.S. Open.

    Stephanie Royer is on staff at the PGA TOUR. She played college golf and is currently pursuing an MBA. A world traveler, she hopes to always keep her country count above her age and to hit every destination in the "National Treasure" movies.

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