Paul Barjon was en fuego in the short-season Mackenzie Tour this year, winning twice and posting seven top-six finishes in 12 starts this season. That was good enough to win the tour's Order of Merit...by all of $2,746.
That's because Taylor Pendrith enjoyed a similar lights-out performance on the PGA Tour's Canada circuit, also owning two victories to go along with five top-five finishes. But a T-27—just Barjon's second finish outside the top 25 this summer—at the season-ending Canada Life Championship was good enough to secure the top spot on the money list, thus earning Player of the Year honors and full exemption to the Korn Ferry Tour next year.
“Finishing No. 1 was obviously the target at the beginning of the year. Whether I could do it or not was definitely a question mark. You always want to be the first guy, but it’s hard to put that into your mind that you can do it,” Barjon said. “I wish I had played better this week, but it was a great experience to play as No. 1 throughout the week and still a great accomplishment to finish first."
This will be Barjon's second go at the Korn Ferry Tour, playing 20 events on the PGA Tour's feeder system in 2017. Pendrith, who played on the same Kent State team as Mackenzie Tour alums and PGA Tour winners Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes, will also be returning to the Korn Ferry Tour for the second time in his career as a conditionally exempt player.
Joining Barjon and Pendrith are Jake Knapp, Lorens Chan and Patrick Fishburn, who finished third through fifth on the Order of Merit. Fishburn, who won the Canada Life Championship on Sunday, moved from 11th to fifth on the money list to receive the final conditionally exempt invitation.
The players who finished sixth through 10th on the final Order of Merit—Hayden Buckley, David Pastore, Dawson Armstrong, Greyson Sigg and Jonathan Garrick —are exempt into the finals of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament in Winter Garden, Fla. The 72-hole tournament awards fully exempt status for the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season, with rest of the top 10 and ties earning 12 guaranteed starts and the top 40 and ties receiving at least eight starts.
Last year's Order of Merit winner, Tyler McCumber, earned his PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry this year, while 2017's first-and-second finishers—Kramer Hickok and Robby Shelton—also have PGA Tour status for the 2019-'20 season.