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Dream come true

It never gets old watching players celebrate winning their PGA Tour cards

October 08, 2023
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Rafael Campos celebrates with friends and family after earning his PGA Tour card on Sunday at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.

Mike Mulholland

Better late than never. That had to be the mindset for Paul Barjon, who started the week at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship needing something big to happen, and ended it as the winner by three shots. The victory, after shooting a closing 68 for a 14-under 274 totla at Victoria National Golf Club helped the 31-year-old Frenchman jump from 45th on the KFT season-long points list to eighth, comfortably among the 30 players to earn PGA Tour cards for the 2024 season.

Barjon, who played the PGA Tour in 2022, was among five pros who were outside the top 30 mark on Thursday in Newburgh, Ind., only to work their way inside the bubble. The other four players who moved into the top 30 were Mac Meissner (35th to 20th), Wilson Furr (32nd to 24th), Josh Teater (34th to 26th) and Roger Sloan (31st to 29th).

That said, just 16 players had locked up cards no matter their performance in the KFT’s season finale. So taking a moment to exhale after officially securing playing privileges on the PGA Tour next season was something several tour-bound players enjoyed.

Here's Furr’s reaction after finishing things up on the 18th hole.

And here’s Chris Gotterup sharing the moment with his family. Gotterup made a double bogey on the 17th hole, but came back with a birdie on the 18th to stay inside the top 30.

Indeed, it’s not just the players who get emotional, but their family members, too. After all, the dream of playing the PGA Tour is one that often involves an entire network pushing a player to their goal.

Perhaps the most demonstrative of the pros to secure their cards was Rafael Campos. The 35-year-old from Puerto Rico, who played on the PGA Tour in 2021, made a bogey on his last hole Sunday that looked like it might leave him in the dreaded 31st spot on the points list.

But Campos became the beneficiary when Shad Tuten was hit with a two-shot penalty at the end of his round. As Tuten dropped from 30th to 32nd, Campos jumped to the 30th position.

With several family members in Indiana this week hoping to see Campos earn his way back to the PGA Tour, that he pulled it off was something that left him nearly speechless.

KORN FERRY TOUR 2023 GRADS

1: Ben Kohles

2: Chan Kim

3: Alejandro Tosti

4: Rico Hoey

5: Ben Silverman

6: Pierceson Coody

7: Grayson Murray

8: Paul Barjon

9: Max Greyserman

10: Chandler Phillips

11: Adrien Dumont de Chassart

12: David Skinns

13: Jake Knapp

14: Jacob Bridgeman

15: Jimmy Stanger

16: Norman Xiong

17: Nicholas Lindheim

18: Joe Highsmith

19: Patrick Fishburn

20: Mac Meissner

21: Tom Whitney

22: Kevin Dougherty

23: Chris Gotterup

24: Wilson Furr

25: Parker Coody

26: Josh Teater

27: Ryan McCormick

28: Scott Gutschewski

29: Roger Sloan

30: Rafael Campos