LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (AP) - Charlie Beljan had trouble breathing even before he teed off, called for paramedics when he made the turn and even told his caddie at one point Friday that he thought he might die. With his job on the line at Disney, he kept right on playing until he had a remarkable 8-under 64 to build a three-shot lead going into the weekend.
The next question is if Beljan can even play on the weekend.
Moments after signing his card, Beljan was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance that took him to a hospital.
“I think he was scared,” said his caddie, Rick Adcox. “He kept saying he thought he was going to die. He just had that feeling. I don’t know why. But it was spooky.”
Adcox said paramedics told the 28-year-old Beljan on the 10th tee of the Palm Course that his blood pressure “wasn’t good.” It wasn’t immediately known what was ailing Beljan, who leaned back on the stretcher with his eyes closed as he was taken to the ambulance. The tour said he complained of an elevated heart rate, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.
His agent, Andy Dawson, sent a text to the PGA Tour from Celebration Hospital, saying: “He’s waiting on some tests. He’s feeling a lot better and hopefully will be discharged this evening, but not for sure.”
The struggle was painfully clear the way Beljan stooped over with his hands on his knees, sat down in the middle of the fairway to rest and often took a knee waiting his turn to putt. He backed off shots and tried to take deep breaths. That he wound up in the lead at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic was simply amazing.
Beljan, in his rookie season on the PGA Tour, is No. 139 on the money list. Disney is the final event of the year, and only the top 125 are assured of keeping their full cards for next year. Beljan likely would need to finish around 10th place to keep his card.
He was at 12-under 132, three shots clear of seven players, a group that included Henrik Stenson, 18-hole leader Charlie Wi, Harris English and Charles Howell III.
LORENA OCHOA INVITATIONAL
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) _ Angela Stanford shot a 5-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead over Inbee Park after the second round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
The winner of the inaugural tournament in 2008, Stanford had an 11-under 133 total at Guadalajara Country Club. The Texan won the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore in February for her fifth LPGA Tour victory.
Park, from South Korea, had a 68. Cristie Kerr was third at 8 under after a 69.
Lewis has a 58-point lead over Park with two events left in the player of the year points race, putting her in position to become the first American to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994.
Ochoa was 1 under after a 72. 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.
SINGAPORE (AP) _ England’s Simon Dyson and Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat topped the Singapore Open leaderboard at 6 under when rain again disrupted play.
Dyson completed 13 holes, and Nirat nine before was suspended for the day.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy played 10 holes in the morning to finish up his first-round 70, then immediately went back out for the second. He was 1 under overall with six holes left in the round.
Phil Mickelson has yet to start his second round. He opened with a 73.
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