Paul Barjon carded seven birdies en route to a 66 and he and Lee Hodges are tied atop the leaderboard after Saturday’s third round of the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz.
For Barjon, a victory would likely earn him a place in the U.S. Open. Because of COVID-19 and the lack of U.S. Open qualifiers, the top five on the regular-season points list at the end of this week will earn a spot into this year’s major at Winged Foot.
Barjon currently ranks seventh, but a victory would likely give him enough points to leapfrog his way into the major. Currently ahead of him, in order, are Davis Riley, Will Zalatoris, Taylor Pendrith, Dylan Wu, Mito Pereira and Jared Wolfe.
“Obviously, it’s in the back of my mind,” Barjon said. “Playing a major, the U.S. Open, the toughest one out of the four, definitely would mean a lot. That would be a great experience in my opinion.”
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Barjon, who hails from France and played collegiately at TCU, has jumped into the race for one of the five spots through a big showing during consecutive tournaments in San Antonio. He finished T-3 in the TPC San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons and then T-2 the next week at TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks.
Meanwhile. Hodges followed Friday’s 64 with a solid 68, making a birdie on No. 18, and is tied with Barjon at 11 under. Anders Albertson is one stroke behind.