Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Golf goes right hereyyy

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Doctors told Charlie Beljan he was in good enough health to leave the hospital Saturday morning but perhaps not to play golf. With his job on the line and his name atop the leaderboard for the first time, Beljan ignored them.

One day after he struggled to breathe and feared for his life because of what he said was a severe panic attack, Beljan managed just fine in the PGA Tour's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Despite two early bogeys, and one nervous moment when he felt his chest tighten, he shot 1-under 71 for a two-shot lead going into the final round at the Walt Disney World Resort.

"I honestly didn't know if I was going to play one hole, any holes or was I going to get through the day," said Beljan, 28, a rookie going for his first win. "I felt good, better as the day went on, and I just hung tough, hung in there. I knew what the rewards were at the end of the week if I could pull something off, and that's kind of what kept me going."

This is the final tour event of the year, and Beljan is at No. 139 on the money list. Only the top 125 keep their cards, and Beljan likely would need to finish around 10th to crack that group.

Beljan said he started to feel some of the same symptoms he had Friday as he approached the turn. He ate a sandwich, tried to calm himself, and back-to-back birdies to start the back nine helped. He closed with six straight pars to reach 13-under 203. That gave him a two-shot lead over Brian Gay (67), Josh Teater (67) and Charlie Wi (70).

Tampa resident Ryuji Imada, tied for second after Round 2, shot 73 and was at 8 under.

When last seen at Disney, Beljan was gasping to draw a big breath and sitting in the fairway to wait his turn to hit. Paramedics followed him around the back nine after a spike in his blood pressure. After signing for 64, Beljan emerged from the scoring room strapped on a stretcher, and he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to a hospital.

"I thought I literally had a chance to die," Beljan said.

He stayed overnight at Celebration Hospital — with his shoes on for most of the night — and got about an hour of sleep. After being told he was physically fine, he went back to his hotel for a shower and breakfast, and then headed to the course.

LPga: Inbee Park shot 6-under 66 and led Cristie Kerr (67) by two at 15-under 201 in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at Guadalajara, Mexico. Ochoa (70), who retired in 2010, was 3 under, Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (66) 6 under and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (74) 3 over.

European: Thomas Bjorn shot 67 in the second round to move into the Singapore Open lead at 9-under 133 and held on to a one-stroke advantage over Chris Wood in Round 3 before play was halted due to darkness. Tropical downpours have caused havoc with the schedule, forcing golfers to finish the second round early Saturday, then start the third round hours later. Officials were planning to play 72 holes unless storms caused more delays today. Rory McIlroy, trying to win the European and PGA Tour money titles in the same year, was at 4 under after two rounds after a second straight 70. Phil Mickelson shot a second straight 70 for a 133 total through 36 holes.

Golf goes right hereyyy 11/10/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 10, 2012 10:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021


    Tampa's Super again. Or at least it will be soon.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  2. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback


    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

    The Bucs are hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick can provide the solution to their puzzle at backup quarterback behind starter Jameis Winston.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way


    UPDATE, 5:32: 2B Brad Miller (abdominal strain) is not doing much in the way of baseball activity yet so that means he won't be ready when eligible to come off the DL on Friday. ... SS Matt Duffy (left heel) said he is still slowed by the big left toe he bruised taking BP on Saturday and does not have a date to …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.
  4. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron


    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  5. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021


    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another …

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.