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.