Beljan leads despite health scare

Nov. 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Charlie Beljan, his spot on the PGA Tour in jeopardy, fought a health scare Friday and took the lead at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.

Beljan experienced an elevated heart rate and shortness of breath while playing the second round of the final event on the tour this year.

He received medical assistance while playing the back nine at the Palm Course of the Walt Disney Resort and dropped to a knee or sat on the ground several times late in the round.

Beljan began experiencing problems on the practice tee and they grew worse as he amazingly fired an 8-under 64 that gave him a three-shot lead.

Television cameras showed him crying as he walked to the scoring area and after he signed his scorecard Beljan was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

His story has added drama became he came into this week ranked 139th on the tour's money list. Only the top 125 on that list at the end of the week maintain full playing privileges on the tour next year, so he needs a good finish in this tournament to retain his spot on the circuit.

"It got kind of scary," Beljan's caddy Rick Adcox said after the round. "I've got to give Charlie credit for what he did and how he finished. I thought he was going to quit a few times. He'd sit on the bag a few times, he laid down a few times. Unbelievable that he hung in there."

Beljan, in his fifth year as a professional, finished tied for third at the Greensboro Classic this year for the best showing of his career. He has missed the cut in 13 of his 21 appearances during the 2012 campaign.

Beljan posted a 36-hole total of 12-under 132. Those tied for second at 135 included Charles Howell III, Matt Jones, Henrik Stenson, Ryuji Imada, Mark Anderson, Harris English and first-round leader Charlie Wi.

Before his condition worsened, Beljan played the first five holes in 4-under par. He first sought medical attention after playing the 13th hole.

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