Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

A Cinderella story: Beljan comes back from brink

updated 9:33 AM EST, Mon November 12, 2012
American rookie Charlie Beljan wins the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic just two days after being taking to hospital with an elevated heart rate and numbness in his arm. American rookie Charlie Beljan wins the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic just two days after being taking to hospital with an elevated heart rate and numbness in his arm.
HIDE CAPTION
Cinderella story
Panic attack?
Time out
Hospital treatment
Playing on
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Charlie Beljan wins first PGA Tour event after being hospitalized
  • The U.S. rookie suffered an elevated heart rate and numbness in his arm on Friday
  • Beljan's two-stroke win guarantees him a PGA Tour card for the 2013 season
  • Beljan: "I was literally fighting for my life and I just think that you can't ever give up"

(CNN) -- It was a Cinderella story taken straight from the script of a Disney classic.

On Friday, Charlie Beljan thought he was dying at the Magnolia Golf Course in Florida, with his professional golf career also about to take a potentially fatal blow .

But two days later the American rookie was celebrating his first victory on the U.S.-based circuit, retaining his Tour card for 2013 after a win at the appropriately named Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.

Beljan was taken to hospital after Friday's second round suffering from an elevated heart rate and numbness in his left arm after finishing the day's round as leader of the tournament.

Ignoring advice from doctors to rest, Beljan played on over the weekend and carded a three-under-par round of 69 on Sunday, which secured him a two-shot victory over compatriot Matt Every.

As Beljan celebrated with his seven-week old son on the 18th green a band played "Zippity-Do-Dah" -- from the 1946 Disney "Song of the South" -- and a wonderful day for the Arizona native was complete.

"Every day I drove underneath that Disney sign coming in here that said, 'Where dreams come true,' and that's just what happened this week," the 28-year-old told the PGA Tour's official website. "And I'm so grateful and so honored."

The win means Beljan will not have to navigate the PGA Tour's offseason qualifying school.

"It was incredible," Beljan said after picking up the eighth win of his pro career. "I was happy that I was a PGA Tour champion. I was happy that my wife and my baby were here. It still isn't real."

The good news kept coming for Beljan, who also pocketed a winner's check for $846,000.

"You never know what's going to happen in this game or in the game of life," he added. "You keep plugging away."

"I believe that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes days like Friday weren't very enjoyable, but the score was wonderful, and I think it taught me that it doesn't matter about your golf swing or your putting stroke."

"I was literally fighting for my life and I just think that you can't ever give up."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:47 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
updated 8:18 AM EST, Thu December 11, 2014
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
updated 6:29 AM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
updated 5:24 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
updated 10:49 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
updated 12:48 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
updated 12:09 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
updated 8:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
updated 9:01 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT