Prior to the final round of the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Doug Bell and Dennis Paulson from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio describe the drama of the last round of the PGA TOUR season.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Despite being hospitalized earlier in the week for what was believed to have been a panic attack, Charlie Beljan maintained his lead going into the final round here at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
Now he’s looking for another miracle -- his first career win. Beljan said Saturday that he thought he’d be home in Arizona by now given what happened in Friday’s round, when he struggled to breathe, had an increased heart rate and high blood pressure.
The 28-year-old got through it, though, and is in position to become the fourth rookie to win this year (John Huh, Ted Potter Jr. and Jonas Blixt were the others).
This marks the first time Beljan has been in this position through 54 holes of a PGA TOUR event -- he was tied for third after three rounds at The Greenbrier Classic earlier this year, where he finished third.
On a side note, Beljan also came into this week 139th on the money list. As long as he doesn’t tumble out of somewhere around the top 12, he should be fine in terms of a card for next season.
Do you think he’ll hang on to win? Third-round leaders/co-leaders have won 21 times in the 41-year history of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. However, since 2004, just one 54-hole leader/co-leader has gone on to win. Discuss below.
In the third round of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic from Walt Disney World Resort, Charlie Beljan shot a 1-under 71 and holds the solo lead.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Despite what was believed to be a panic attack that kept Charlie Beljan in the hospital overnight, the third round of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic ended the way it started: With Beljan in the lead.
The 28-year-old rookie shot a 71 to move to 13 under and two shots clear of Brian Gay, Josh Teater and Charlie Wi.
Beljan entered the week 139th on the money list but with one round to go in the final event of the season, he’s in position for his first career win, which would guarantee him a TOUR card for the next two years.
After making two bogeys in his first three holes Saturday, Beljan bounced back with four birdies over his next eight. He added two more on the back nine.
Beljan has plenty of company close behind him on the leaderboard with 10 players within three shots. Among that group are Camilo Villegas and Tommy Gainey, both of whom are three back. Villegas, 150th on the money list and in danger of losing his card at the start of the week, is looking for his first win in two years. Gainey is looking for his second in as many starts after winning The McGladrey Classic two weeks ago.
Prior to the third round of the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Dennis Paulson from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio speaks with 36-hole leader Charlie Beljan about his health and mindset.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Despite a recommendation by doctors that Charlie Beljan not continue to play, he will go on in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, where he leads by three going into Saturday’s third round.
Beljan spent the night at nearby Celebration Hospital after suffering from shortness of breath, an increased heart rate and high blood pressure. After several tests, however, doctors couldn’t find anything physically wrong with the 28-year-old, who was released Saturday morning.
“That was probably the hardest day of my life,” said Beljan, who got only an hour of sleep and actually slept with his golf shoes on. “The end result was that they think that everything was OK. That's why I'm here today.
”I’m still not feeling that great, but shoot, the position I'm in, it's kind of hard not to show up. We'll give it a whirl, give it our best shot.”
Beljan, who believes he may have suffered an anxiety attack, shot a 64 on Friday despite gasping for air and having to lay down on the course several times during his round. Once he signed his scorecard, he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital.
By Saturday morning, Beljan was ready to play golf after getting to the course about an hour before his 10:55 a.m. ET tee time.
“Blood work, the CAT scan, the lungs, the heart, everything was wonderful, which is a huge relief,” Beljan said. “Still, I'm going to have to go back out there and kind of face the feelings today.
”They released me saying that they thought I was good enough maybe not to go play golf, but at least to leave the hospital. I'm making the decision to come out here and play. Who knows if we'll last two holes. Who knows if we'll last 18 holes. We're just going to take it one shot at a time, which I did yesterday and ended up pretty good.”
Beljan said on Friday that he has suffered similar episodes in recent weeks, but nothing this extreme. And last month, he passed out on a flight home from Reno, Nev., and had to be taken to the hospital once the plane landed. Again, doctors weren’t able to come up with a diagnosis.
The rookie came into this week with the added stress of playing for his PGA TOUR card -- he is 139th on the money list; only the top 125 after this week receive cards.
Beljan, who was barely coherent after finishing his second round, didn’t even realize he was in the lead until he reached the hospital.
“I haven't even thought about the three-shot lead or the golf really,” he said. “My health is the No. 1 thing. Without that it's kind of hard to play golf. So I look forward to the opportunity and see what we can do with this.
“I look forward to having some fun today. And we'll see what happens. It's a dream come true.”