Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Out of hospital, Beljan keeps lead at Disney

Charlie Beljan

Charlie Beljan lines up his putt on the eighth hole during the third round of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals golf tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Charlie Beljan was in a hospital bed in the middle of the night, still wearing his golf shoes, thinking his season was over.

He was about six hours from his tee time Saturday at Disney. Just 12 hours earlier, he was having a panic attack on the golf course so severe that he could barely breathe, his blood pressure spiked and his arms felt numb. After signing his card, he was strapped into a stretcher, loaded into an ambulance and taken to a hospital.

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

In a turnaround that even by Disney’s standards seems like a fairy tale, the 28-year-old rookie now has a chance to win his first PGA Tour title.

Beljan was released from the hospital, overcame two early bogeys and was solid over the final hour in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic for a 1-under 71 that gave him a two-shot lead going into the final round.

“I honestly didn’t know if I was going to play one hole, any holes or was I going to get through the day,” Beljan said. “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.”

The rewards were ample.

This is the final PGA Tour event of the year, and Beljan is No. 139 on the money list. Only the top 125 get full cards for next year. Doctors told him he was in good enough health to be released, but perhaps not to play golf. He ignored their recommendations.

“The position I’m in, it’s kind of hard not to show up,” he said before teeing off.

Beljan had a pair of three-putt bogeys that cost him his three-shot lead after three holes, and felt some tightening in his chest as he approached the turn, the same symptoms that caused much fear Friday. But he steadied himself, began the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and kept in front.

He was at 13-under 203, two shots ahead of Brian Gay (67), Josh Teater (67) and Charlie Wi, who was tied for the lead until closing with two bogeys for a 70.

“It’s nice to be able to walk around and smile,” Beljan said. “Yesterday, I was hanging on for my life.”

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 taking his blood pressure on the 10th tee. After signing for a 64, Beljan emerged from the scoring room strapped into a stretcher and was loaded into an ambulance.

For most of the night, he felt 99 percent sure he wouldn’t be playing. But with the comfort of knowing that he was physically fine, he went back to his hotel for a shower, breakfast and headed to the golf course. Despite being nervous that another episode could strike again, he was steady for so much of the day.

Now comes the hard work.

Beljan’s wife, 7-week-old son and mother-in-law were flying in from Phoenix for the final round. He has long dreamed of how cool it would be to have his family come onto the green to celebrate his first PGA Tour win.

But there’s a long way to go.

Beljan’s three-shot lead was gone before he stepped onto the fourth tee in the third round. He will start Sunday with 11 players separated by three shots. That includes Sea Island winner Tommy Gainey and Camilo Villegas, winless in four years, along with Robert Garrigus, who won at Disney two years ago. The group at 205 included Vaughn Taylor, who like Beljan is making a last-ditch effort to keep his card.

Beljan was simply thrilled to be playing.

“I think the big advantage for me is I’m not thinking about the golf or the putts or the chips or the shots or the swings,” said Beljan, who didn’t even realize he was in the lead until about 10:30 p.m. Friday at the hospital. “I’m just thinking about my health, one shot at a time, one hole at a time. And shoot, the last 36 holes it’s worked out pretty well.”

Beljan showed off his power on the opening hole when he was behind a tree 183 yards from the hole. He hit a pitching wedge straight up and over the tree, with enough on it to reach the green. He three-putted from 50 feet, however, and then dropped another shot on the par-3 third with a three-putt from about 25 feet on the fringe.

His only other bogey came from a bunker on the 12th.

Several players made a run at him — Wi, Gainey among them — and Charles Howell III was right in the mix. Howell was one shot out of the lead until driving into the water on the 17th to make triple bogey, and then making bogey on the last hole to finish five shots behind.

Beljan said a variety of tests showed nothing was wrong with him.

“Physically, everything is wonderful,” he said. “It’s that little space between those ears that I’ve got to work on.”

This all started about three months ago when he fainted on a flight home from the Reno-Tahoe Open as he was going to the bathroom. Since then, Beljan said he has had a half-dozen panic attacks, usually in controlled environments when he can settle himself down. This one came on a golf course, and it spiraled out of control on Friday.

When he showed up at the course, he felt nervous and a little embarrassed about Friday’s afternoon’s episodes. But he doesn’t mind the travails if it means a chance to win a tournament, or even keep his job for next year. Even if he doesn’t win, Beljan would need to finish around 10th to move into the top 125.

Besides, it would be a fitting way for a wild year to end.

After getting his card at Q-school last year, he had hand surgery before starting the season. He found out at the Sony Open that he was going to be a father. He was married in March. He played poorly all year except for one week at the Greenbrier. His baby was born at the end of the FedEx Cup season. He fainted on the plane. He at least secured a spot inside the top 150, only to realize that won’t mean as much next year because of a shorter season.

“It’s been a long, exciting, hectic, crazy, stressful year,” he said. “But hopefully, we’re going to end it with a bang.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Delta barriers no longer needed

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Supervisors voice concern on state Delta plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rotarians talk about running clinic to help Haitians

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Dental clinic coming Friday, Saturday

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District eyes new auditor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
County honors Purple Heart recipients

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Solano recognizes 1,300-strong volunteer corps

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Kids fishing derby in Fairfield is part of Earth Day

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Garamendi to host open house at Fairfield office

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Highway 12 night work scheduled in Delta

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
County approves Icon agreements

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9

 
Ceremony set to break ground for Suisun City Walmart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9, 19 Comments | Gallery

Dutch Bros. opening with free drinks

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9, 7 Comments

 
Museum readies to host Sallie Fox Day in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Golf tournament to raise funds for children

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Mustangs and More event moved back to October

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

Rotary club to host clay shooting derby

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A11

 
Ghost Walk returns to Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A11

 
NAMI talk on reducing mental health stigma

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
.

US / World

In Internet TV case, justices show concern

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

GOP candidate releases education policy overview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

In Ukraine’s east, mayor held hostage by insurgent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Biden: Russia must ‘stop talking and start acting’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Most Sherpas decide to leave Everest for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Jet stowaway at hospital; security issues linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

SKorea ferry toll hits 146 as search gets tougher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15, 3 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoons for April 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 

Groundwater becomes next big California fight

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Fairfield’s main problem is the mayor

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 4 Comments

.

Living

Solving and resolving life’s problems

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
 
A healthy take on the very not healthy Scotch egg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Horoscopes for April 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
How can I get my 12-year-old grandson to sleep in his own bed?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

DeGeneres making design series for HGTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

SCC softball ends regular season with 29 straight wins

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
5 Fairfield runners finish Boston Marathon

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Prep swimming update: Postseason looms on horizon

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors announce new plans for SF arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Source: N.Y. Giants’ Hill facing 3rd suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors’ Curry eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spurs’ Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Raiders begin offseason workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL playoff game to air on ESPN for 1st time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Djokovic: Wrist better, will try to play in Madrid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pujols’ 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Beverly Hanson, forgotten pioneer in women’s golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA Playoffs: Raptors even series with Nets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Novartis reshapes business with GSK, Lilly deals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
AT&T had strong 1Q on wireless installment plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Norma O’Regan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert James Carty Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard P. Horn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dondi Martin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Kyong Hee Maxwell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7