After firing the round of his life to take a three-shot second-round lead at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Florida on Friday, rookie Charlie Beljan sought emergency medical assistance for symptoms that included chest pains, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart beat.
The 28-year-old Beljan will enter the weekend at 12-under if he is able to return to the field following a day when he struggled at times to walk and frequently dropped to his knees in attempts to catch his breath. Beljan, who was projected to move from 139th to 65th on the money list, began to sob once he left the course and, after signing his scorecard, was loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher and transported to a local Orlando hospital.
There was no immediate update on the golfer’s medical status, although playing partner Edward Loar told Golf Channel that Beljan said throughout the day that he felt as if were going to faint. Medical staffers were on hand for much of Beljan’s back nine.
“Before the round he said he was having a hard time breathing,” Loar said, according to Golfweek. “It was pretty bizarre.”
To Beljan’s caddie, Rick Adcox, “kinda scary” was a more accurate description.
“He kept saying he thought he was going to die, he just had that feeling,” Adcox told Golf Channel. “I don’t know why; he was spooked.”
Finishing inside the top 125 would secure Beljan his PGA Tour card for next year, though that was secondary to Adcox.
“To me, that doesn’t matter,” said Adcox of Beljan, who apparently has asthma, battled valley fever in recent years, and began experiencing symptoms early in the day. “He’s got many more golf tournaments ahead of him and if he can’t go, that’s fine....I’ve got no problem with that.”
Despite his condition, Beljan posted two eagles and six birdies along with two bogeys for an 8-under 64. At 8-under through 11 holes Friday, Beljan had observers wondering if he would record a magical 59.
Should he continue, he’ll carry a three-stroke lead over seven golfers, including Charlie Wi and Charles Howell III.
Beljan’s best finish of the season to date was a tie for third at the Greenbrier Classic. He entered this week’s contest after finishing in a share of 10th The McGladrey Classic.