What they said: Charlie Beljan

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January 03, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Hyundai Tournament of Champions transcript archive

JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome Charlie Beljan to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Charlie, first of all, welcome to Kapalua. If we can get you to look back on that victory at Disney that got you here and then your plans for this week.

CHARLIE BELJAN: Well, it's been a long seven weeks since then. A lot of things have changed in my life and it's been wonderful. I got a new motor home that I look forward to using. Unfortunately it didn't have a propeller, so I couldn't come out here with it.
But feeling much better. Changed some eating habits. Changed some fitness routines and been working hard on my short game and looking forward to great week here. I figured this was the best spot‑‑ there's a tournament in April that I would like to get invited to.
So I've been working hard and hopefully beat 29 or 30 of these guys here and get invited to that Masters Tournament.

Q. What has it been like to find yourself all of a sudden the public face of anxiety?

CHARLIE BELJAN:
It's been good. I'd like to be known as a golfer and a free spirit and a fun‑loving guy, but at the same time, what I experienced out there and what everybody saw brought a lot of attention to panic attacks and anxiety attacks and what a big deal it is and how many people do face it on a daily basis.

So I've gotten a lot of letters and a lot of e‑mails and stuff like that saying that I've been an inspiration to all and it's been pretty neat because I've touched people other than just, you know, playing golf.

Q. You told Jason Sobel how you don't like to eat and that was part of the problem at Disney, had not eaten in 20 hours. What do you mean, you don't like to eat, or you don't like food?

CHARLIE BELJAN:
Yeah, you just said it. I don't like to eat. I don't like food. I wish I could swallow a few pills every morning and not have to chew on anything the rest of the day. Since  I've been a kid, I'm not a food fan.

I've eaten the same Subway sandwich five days a week for the last eight years and haven't changed it and I'm not willing to try. We went to a luau last night, which was wonderful, and they had a five‑course meal and I didn't take a bite of any of it because I wasn't willing to try it.

Now I'm eating on the golf course, eating three meals a day. They might be the same thing every day but at least I'm putting some fuel in my body.

Actually it got to the point where I had to sleep at the table‑‑ sleep at the table if I didn't leave. That was my dad's thing and after a week of probably sleeping at the table, my mom started making me different meals, so it worked out.

Q. What have you seen of the course and how does it fit your game and what's your plan of attack?

CHARLIE BELJAN:
It fits my game, because I love to hit the driver. I hit it long and straight, and this is a golf course of length. And now especially with all this rain we've been getting, I don't know if the golf ball is going to roll out like it has in years past so I think that favors me even more.
These greens are tricky and that's the part today that I'm going to use the Pro‑Am for to really try to figure out these greens, because with the ocean and the mountain and the grain, it's not something that I'm used to.

So if I can figure out the greens, tee‑to‑green, I'm always pretty solid. But if I can figure out those greens, I'm looking forward to a great week.

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