Charlie Beljan’s wild weekend to win a PGA event
One week ago, former Red Mountain standout Charlie Beljan was an anonymous golfer fighting for his PGA Tour card.
And then began the highest-profile days of his life.
Beljan, 28, entered last week’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at 139th on the money list, needing to move up 14 spots to secure his card for next year.
He played well on Thursday, but while preparing for his second round, Beljan began to feel ill. Instead of bowing out of the tournament, he fought through shortness of breath and a racing heart — at times sitting down in the grass — to shoot a 64 on Friday before immediately getting put on a stretcher for a trip to the hospital.
Beljan, who won the Class 5A individual boys golf title in 2001, didn’t know what was wrong. Those watching him struggle through the second round felt like it was a serious ailment. He stayed at the hospital overnight, but after multiple tests, doctors concluded there was no harm to his body. Beljan simply had a panic attack, and, incredibly, could return for the final two days of the tournament if he so chose.
He did so, and while fatigued, managed to shoot a 1-under 71 on Saturday and then a 3-under 69 on Sunday. Beljan finished two shots ahead of Matt Every and Robert Garrigus to claim the first — and quite unlikely — PGA Tour victory of his career.
The purse was $846,000 and it vaulted Beljan’s season earnings to nearly $1.4 million, good for 63rd place on the money list, which means he safely qualified for PGA Tour status for next season.
An agonizing Friday turned into an incredible weekend for Beljan. This won’t be a tournament he soon forgets.