A bizarre scene unfolded Friday as health issues forced tournament leader Charlie Beljan to be loaded into an ambulance upon completing his second round at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
Beljan, who suffers from asthma, was clearly struggling with shortness of breath and battling an elevated heart rate throughout his round. Often seen taking a knee or lying down on the ground during his round on the Palm Course, Beljan carded two eagles and six birdies against a pair of bogeys for an 8-under 64. He enters the weekend at 12-under 132, leading by three over a large group that includes Charles Howell III and first-round leader Charlie Wi.
Beljan, who began the week 139th on the 2012 money list, needs a big finish at Disney to retain fully-exempt status for next season. Now, simply finishing this week's event may be in doubt. Upon completing his round, the 28-year-old was clearly emotional and was placed on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance after signing his scorecard.
A group of seven players currently sit at 9 under, three shots behind the leader, including Matt Jones who matched Beljan's 64 on the Palm Course. In search of his second win in as many starts, Tommy Gainey headlines a group at 8 under, four shots off the pace.
Completing his rookie season, Beljan's best result of the year is a T-3 at The Greenbrier Classic. He was 8 under through 11 holes Friday and briefly flirted with a 59 before a bogey on 12. Beljan struggled physically throughout the back nine, and at times consulted with tournament medical staff to determine if he would be able to complete his second round. Beljan's caddie, Rick Adcox, shed light on the situation after the round.
'It got kind of scary,' he said. 'I thought he was going to quit out there a few times.'
After Beljan was loaded into the ambulance, Adcox described just how dire his player's state became.
'I think he's scared,' he explained. 'He kept saying that he thought he was going to die. He just had that feeling.'