LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — 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 the recommendation and was glad he did.
One day after a panic attack so severe that he struggled to breathe and feared for his life, Beljan managed just fine in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Despite a pair of early bogeys, and one nervous moment when he felt his chest tighten, he had a 1-under 71 that gave him a two-shot lead at Disney.
Suddenly, the 28-year-old rookie has a chance to do more than just keep his card. He's one round away from winning on the PGA Tour.
He stayed overnight in the hospital — with his shoes on for most of the night — and only got about an hour of sleep. This is the final PGA 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.