Beljan struggled to breathe and his blood pressure spiked during the second round, which ended with him being wheeled out of the scoring room on a stretcher. He spent the night at the hospital. It turned out to be a panic attack that was out of control.
For 36 holes, he feared the panic attack might return. By the end of play Sunday, the 28-year-old rookie had completed a dream week.
Beljan ran off four straight birdies around the turn and built a five-shot lead on the back nine with his discount golf clubs. He closed with a bogey for a 3-fewer than 69 and a two-shot win at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
After knocking in the last putt, he tossed his putter and walked around the 18th green on the Magnolia Course pumping his fists as it all began to sink in. Beljan was No. 139 on the PGA Tour money list coming into the final event of the year and figured he was headed back to Q-school. His win gives him a two-year exemption, a trip to Maui for the Tournament of Championship and a spot in the PGA Championship next year.
Even by Disney's standards, this was an unimaginable journey. Beljan thought he was going to die on Friday when his chest was heaving as he tried to breathe. He sat in the fairway and paramedics followed him around the back nine of Palm Course in his second round.
He got only an hour of sleep in the hospital Friday night, leaving his golf shoes on until about 4:30 a.m., then came to the course Saturday not knowing if he could finish one hole with his taylormade burner 2.0 irons, let alone all 18. And when he woke Sunday, he had a pounding headache and an uneasy stomach.
Beljan earned $846,000 for the victory, capping a long, hectic season in which he learned he was going to be a father, got married in March and first began suffering panic attacks after he passed out on a flight home from the Reno-Tahoe Open in early August.
Beljan showed a few signs that he might crack. He three-putted from behind the fifth green, and then was disgusted with an approach that just missed the green to the left on No. 7. After getting a drop because his left foot was on a sprinkler head, he rolled in an 18-foot birdie off the green, screamed "Go!" at a wedge that obeyed him and settled a foot away for a tap-in birdie on the eighth, and then holed a 30-foot birdie on the ninth.
He's so long off the tee that the par-5 10th was the easiest of his four straight birdies, and when he knocked in a 30-footer on No. 12, Beljan's lead was up to five shots with his best rocketballz irons for sale.
Instead of playing it safe off the tee at the 13th, he hit driver into the woods, went into a bunker, then across the green, and made a quick double bogey. Garrigus made a birdie ahead of him on the 14th, and suddenly, the lead was only two shots.
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