LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (AP) - 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.
Beljan said he started to feel some of the same symptoms from Friday as he approached the turn. He ate a sandwich, tried to calm himself, and back-to-back birdies to start the back nine certainly helped. He closed with six straight pars to reach 13-under 203. That gave him a two-shot lead over Brian Gay (67), Josh Teater (67) and Charlie Wi, who was tied with Beljan until two sloppy bogeys at the end for a 70.
When last seen at Disney, Beljan was gasping to draw a big breath and sitting in the fairway to wait his turn to hit. Paramedics followed him around the back nine after a spike in his blood pressure. After signing for a 64, Beljan emerged from the scoring room strapped into a stretcher and was loaded into an ambulance.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) _ Inbee Park moved into position for her third victory of the year, shooting a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
The South Korean player had a 15-under 201 total at Guadalajara Country Club. She won the Evian Masters in France in July and the LPGA Malaysia last month and leads the LPGA Tour money list.
Cristie Kerr was second after a 67.
So Yeon Ryu was third at 12 under after a 67. Second-round leader Angela Stanford was another stroke back after a 72, and Karine Icher had a 69 to reach 9 under.
Lewis, coming off her tour-leading fourth victory of the year last week in Japan, was tied for sixth at 8 under with Michelle Wie, Candie Kung and Hee Kyung Seo. Trying to become the first U.S. player of the year since Beth Daniel in 1994, Lewis shot a 71. Wie followed her second-round 75 with a 67.
Ochoa was 3 under after a 70. The Mexican star won 27 LPGA Tour titles before retiring at age 28 in 2010. She missed the event last year before the birth of son Pedro in December.
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