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.”
Charlie Beljan leads at 12 under despite having to be hospitalized after his round.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Charlie Beljan was loaded into an ambulance via stretcher after completing his second round at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, where he suffered from shortness of breath, an elevated heart rate, high blood pressure and numbness in his arms.
Beljan, who shot an 8-under 64 to take a three-shot lead halfway through the event, was taken to nearby Celebration Hospital, where he was undergoing tests and hoping to be released Friday night.
During his round, however, Beljan had to sit down several times. He called for paramedics on the 10th hole but decided to play on.
The 28-year-old rookie is 12 under through 36 holes and is projected to move from 139th to 65th on the money list, which would secure his PGA TOUR card for next year.
"I think he's scared," Beljan's caddie, Rick Adcox, said. "He kept saying he thought he was going to die."
Medical personnel walked with him for much of his back nine. Adcox said Beljan had asked for medical attention earlier on Friday on the practice tee prior to his round.
“A couple times I thought he might pass out," Adcox said. "He just said, ‘I’m gonna keep going until I pass out or they take me off,’ and I kept saying it doesn’t matter to me, it’s only a golf tournament.”
It was a courageous round given the circumstances. Beljan dropped to his knees on several occasions, trying to catch his breath. After he finished his round, he broke down in tears.
“He was trying to keep upright,” playing partner Ed Loar said. “Hopefully he’ll be all right. It was pretty bizarre.”
Despite his struggles, Belgian was 8 under through his first 11 holes and flirting with a 59.
On the 17th, he told his caddie, “I just want to get finished.” He did that with a an up-and-down for par on the 18th after a poor second shot before struggling to reach the scoring area, where he signed his scorecard. Shortly thereafter he was taken to the hospital.
By Mark Immelman, Special to PGATOUR.COM
If, on Friday morning, I threw out the name Charlie Beljan, I am pretty confident that you would not have known who I was talking about. Well, after a birdie blitz on Day 2 -- which ended with a 62 -- he surged to the upper reaches of the leaderboard and into PGA TOUR prominence.
By his own own admission, the rookie was merely trying to get a solid day in to see him through the two round cut and into the weekend. Two quick birdies on his first and third holes going him rolling, and he threatened to shoot 59 before finishing par-bogey.
There is, as always, something we can learn from the play on the PGA TOUR. Beljan was over par early on Thursday, but he settled himself down by reminding himself that his game was rounding into form. He had started to play better by posting three sub-70 rounds two weeks ago in the Travelers Championship. He managed to settle down, and he hit a few greens in regulation and made pars on his next eight holes. He was still 2 over after 11 holes, but he had stabilized the ship. He then made a birdie on the reachable par-5 12th, and he birdied his final hole to shoot an unlikely 70. He arrived at the course early on Friday morning for Round 2, and he hit the gas pedal early. Four hours later, he had nearly shot 59 and had put himself in the final group for Saturday's third round.
So here is what we can learn from the eight-time winner on The Gateway Tour:
If you are playing well, you must make a conscious effort to reinforce that to yourself. Charlie Beljan could have very easily become engrossed with the fact that he was over par early and potentially on the way to another missed cut. That mindset could have undoubtedly affected his performance and manifested itself. Instead, he chose to remain positive and reinforce an optimistic outlook. That approach bore fruit.
The second lesson: Golf is a marathon and you must approach the
game as such. Beljan ran a poor first leg of his marathon at The
He did not, however, make the potentially fatal error of trying to make up for lost time too quickly by making rash decisions and hitting marginal shots. Instead, he patiently bided his time. He put the ball in positions that kept further mistakes at bay, and in so doing, consolidated his situation until his putter got hot and the birdies started to fly.
Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.
Following his second-round 62, Charlie Beljan reflects on his play in the 2012 Greenbrier Classic with Mark Immelman from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- If there were a TV show made about Charlie Beljan, he says it would be on the Speed Channel, or "producers would have to create a death-wish channel for me."
Friday, Beljan, who is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, experienced a different kind of thrill: A 62 to move into a tie for the early lead through two rounds of The Greenbrier Classic.
“I haven't really realized what's going on,” Beljan said. “I woke up this morning, I said let's just play a good round of golf and have another chance on the weekend. Now all of a sudden I'm sitting here in front of you guys in another first-time experience.”
Beljan had never even seen the inside of an interview room, much less experienced the lead on the PGA TOUR.
This is just the 13th start of the season for the 27-year-old rookie, who earned his card by tying for 14th at q-school last year.
Prior to that, the former University of New Mexico standout toiled away on the Gateway Tour in Arizona, where he had been playing since 2007. He won eight times on that tour and in 2011 was the leading money winner.
This year has been a little different -- Beljan made just four cuts in 16 starts this season.
“Everything's a whirlwind, everything's different,” Beljan said. “I've never spent five weeks away from home.”
With a first-round scoring average that ranks dead last on TOUR he hasn’t seen many weekends, either.
“I don't doubt it,” Beljan said when asked if he was aware he was last in that stat. “I go to bed every night on Thursday night just praying for a good one on Friday.”
He had one this week.
Beljan made nine birdies and just one bogey. He missed just two greens in regulation and made all 17 putts he faced from inside 10 feet.
When he’s not playing golf, Beljan likes to push himself in other ways.
He owns a couple of motorcycles and has gone as fast as 170 mph on one of them. He also says he’d like to be strapped to the wing of a bi-plane sometime.
Beljan is certainly flying here.
”That's why I'm also looking forward to the weekend,” he said. “I like getting my heart beating.”
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Seems inconceivable that a PGA TOUR player’s aim on the greens could be off by entire inches, but Hunter Mahan found that to be the case last week before the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Mahan had a session Monday with Ping Tour rep Matt Rollins at Dove Mountain’s putting green, and a laser device put in front of Mahan’s putterface found his alignment to be left of the hole by a couple inches.
Rollins handed Mahan the company’s new Nome putter, a mallet made with high-grade aluminum and tungsten sole plates which increase MOI. It has a black alignment bar with white sight lines, and Mahan immediately corrected his left-aiming issue.
“This one has a little less offset and it's helping me aim better, so basically I'm aiming where I think I'm supposed to be aiming. Before I was aiming a little more left than I thought, so I was kind of pushing my putts. I wasn't just getting like a true roll and a true read,” Mahan said Friday after advancing to the quarterfinals. “I have just a lot of confidence where I'm starting the ball. I think I'm starting it there and I'm hitting it right there.
“Last week (T24 at the Northern Trust Open) I had no sense of the greens and missed everything. But for some reason this week I feel confident. I feel confident whenever I get on the green I'm going to make it. It's a good feeling to have right now.”
Two days later, Mahan won the Accenture. From a couple inches left to the top of one of the season’s most prestigious events in six days.
The Ping Nome will arrive at golf shops in the first week of April.
STRONG SHOWING: Ping made out big at Accenture with three staff players among the last four players standing – Mahan, Mark Wilson and Lee Westwood. The company’s players went a collective 19-6 for the event, including 6-0 on day one (Ping players Miguel Angel Jimenez, Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson also were in the field).
SEEING YELLOW: Skip Kendall used a yellow Srixon Z-Star XV Tour to weeks ago in winning the Nationwide Tour season opener, the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship, then put it in play last week at the Mayakoba Golf Classic on the PGA TOUR. Gary Christian and Robert Gamez also used the yellow ball, while Charlie Beljan used a yellow Z-Star Tour.
SIZING UP: Sang-moon Bae made a surprising run to the quarterfinals at Accenture before losing to eventual runner-up Rory McIlroy. He used a Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood after auditioning both the Octane Tour and Razr X Black 3-woods on the range and the course before the matches. He had the 3-woods set up identically to 14.5 degrees for his test.
TIGER TALK: Tiger Woods met the media Wednesday at The Honda Classic and talked about putting, including how he has stayed loyal to Nike putters. Despite his struggles on the greens, Woods hasn’t gone back to the Titleist Scotty Cameron model he used during his decade-plus of dominance.
“I had to find a putter that comes off at the same pace as my Cameron did. We had to work on the grooves to make sure that it came off the same speed. Once we got that dialed in and the ball was coming off the same speed, then we are set,” Woods said. “And that's the mallet … or the one with the plumber neck, they are coming off the same speed as my Cameron, and that's the beauty of it, because I don't have to make any adjustments for speed.”
Woods has made one return to the old days – putting a Ping grip back in play, which he says provides more swing in his stroke.
A GOOD FIT: Callaway, the PGA TOUR and Birdies for the Brave are teaming up this season to custom-fit three veterans for new clubs at a dozen TOUR events.
The first fitting was Tuesday on the range at The Honda Classic, with Sgt. Kyle Evans (a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient who served two tours of duty in Iraq), Daniel Robinson (who served in Kuwait), and Ben Baar, a 20-year veteran of the Army who was injured in the Middle East.