Brave Beljan soldiers on
Last updated: 11th November 2012
Charlie Beljan proved his decision to ignore medical advice and play on in Florida was a good one.
The American, who was hospitalised overnight after complaining of shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate during his second round, came back on Saturday and shot a one-under-par 71 at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic to move to 13 under par and retain a two-shot lead over compatriots Brian Gay and Josh Teater and South Korean Charlie Wi.
"I thought I literally had a chance to die," he told the PGA Tour website of his Friday ordeal.
Beljan, who was advised not to continue on in the tournament, now believes he may have suffered a panic attack.
"I honestly didn't know if I was going to play one hole, any holes or was I going to get through the day," he said.
"I felt good, better as the day went on, and I just hung tough, hung in there."
The decision to play on could work out spectacularly for Beljan, who at 139th on the money list, needs to be in the top 125 at the end of the tournament to avoid a return trip to Q-school.
"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," he said.
"The position I'm in, it's kind of hard not to show up."
The decision at first seemed ill-advised when he bogeyed two of the first three holes but he picked up a shot on the par five fourth and further birdies on the seventh, 10th and 11th helped reignite his challenge.
He made his third bogey of the day on the 12th, but played the final six holes in level par to stay in front of the pack with one round left to play.
Former two-time Ryder Cup representative Henrik Stenson was among seven players in a tie for fifth on twn under.
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