Pure product of the formation made in the USA, domiciled in Fort Worth (Texas), member in 2021-22 of the PGA Tour, Paul Barjon will play his first Open de France. Just 30 years old. Interview.
Proposed by François SCIMECA and Lionel VELLA, at the Golf National
You are going to play your first French Open. What state of mind are you in?
I am very excited ! It has been fourteen years since I played the Albatros course. Since the French championships… minimal. So I’ve been hoping to play for a long time. It has never been well pinned between the calendars and the different championships, whether European, world championship or anything else.
What can you tell us about the course of the Albatross?
It’s a fantastic course, very well prepared. It has been modified a little since the end of the minimal French championships (he smiles). I don’t have a lot of memories of this route. So I have the impression that it’s the same except for hole n°11, which changes a little… But it’s still a difficult course, world-class, a Major course… This week, there’s no doesn’t really have any rough, so that’ll make it in quotes easier.
The objective here will be to remain patient, while managing to play intelligently on this course which can be ruthless if you are too aggressive
Have you set a goal this week?
I don’t really have any. But I am a competitor. We always want to win. The objective here will also be to remain patient, while trying to play intelligently on this course which can be ruthless if you are too aggressive.
Have you digested this missed season on the PGA Tour?
There is still a little bitter taste in terms of sensations but in the end, it is a good experience. I drew some conclusions about my game. There are things to work on, to review… The things that were a little lacking compared to the level of the best, in particular on the attacks of greens, between 110 and 160 meters. I put myself in difficult situations in this area of the game. On the other hand, on the driving side, I think I had a good season. We will also try to be a little more regular in the bad weeks.
Getting back on the Korn Ferry isn’t the end of the world either. Everyone goes through tougher times in their career.
What is the major difference between the PGA Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour, the second US division?
First is the difficulty of the course. There is more rough. And the greens are firmer. The field is also obviously tougher… But hey, getting back on the Korn Ferry isn’t the end of the world either. Everyone goes through tough times in their career. We try to learn and then we will do everything to bounce back and find the PGA Tour at the end of next season.
Is coming to play more often in Europe part of your plans for 2023?
Not really. Unless I win this week! It would be the perfect opportunity. But hey… The Korn Ferry has increased the prize money. It’s an easier ride. My parents live in Australia. I’m married and I live in the United States, it’s not super convenient. The ideal would be to play on both the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, a bit like Rory (McIlroy). A dozen tournaments here, fifteen there, it would be the perfect situation.
It’s still weird that the LIV guys want to collect world points on invitational events and on three rounds… It’s a bit like the Mickey tournament
What will be your program after the French Open?
I will take part in one or two qualifications on the PGA Tour (Monday qualifier)… I will thus qualify in Las Vegas (Shriners Children’s Open – October 6 to 9) and then one or two more before the end of the year calendar. I also saw that there were one or two stages in Australia on the DP World Tour 2023. I don’t know if I’ll go there, which will allow me somewhere to see my parents. But it’s by invitation. Nothing is certain so…
A word on the LIV Golf?
I don’t know if it’s good for golf. I don’t know if for the PGA Tour banning everyone is a good thing too… In the end, the PGA Tour players benefit from the situation since the prize money has increased. Hoping that this is also the case in Europe… This has moved the monetary part of golf in the right direction. Afterwards, it’s still weird that the LIV guys want to recover world points on invitational events and over three rounds… It’s a bit of a Mickey Mouse tournament! To me, that’s not real golf. But I think it’s good for boys who are at the end of their career…
Photos: Steve DYKES / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP and Golf Planète