Beljan Thinks of Bradley
Keegan Bradley wasn’t even playing in the PGA Tour season-ending CMNH Classic, but he was on the mind of the winner, Charlie Beljan.
“As Dr. Bob Rotella told me, I kinda have that Keegan Bradley instinct,” Beljan, a 28-year-old tour rookie who overcame a severe panic attack on Friday to hoist his first trophy on Sunday, told Golf Channel following his two-shot victory. “I’d like to win a major, win a few more, and I believe I can and now I want to go show everybody that I’m gonna do it and I can do it.”
The golfer from Arizona was referring to the mental coach he shares with 2011 PGA champ Bradley, and after the weekend Beljan had at Walt Disney World Resort, we’re guessing Rotella will get an earful from the newest tour winner.
Beljan played out of his mind on Friday, carding an 8-under 64, but it was his health that was the story of the day. The Web.com Tour graduate wobbled his way through the round, during which he had so much trouble breathing and dealing with a rapid heartbeat that he sat down several times and told his caddie he feared he would die. After Beljan signed his scorecard, emergency medical personnel wheeled him on a stretcher into an ambulance that whisked him to a local hospital, where he spent much of Saturday night.
Fast forward to Sunday night and Beljan, who apparently suffered extreme anxiety, got to emulate Bradley as a winner in his maiden season on tour. Entering the event 139th on the tour money list, Beljan completed the year at No. 63 — well within the top 125 who earned full-time playing privileges in the big leagues for 2013.
“It’s a dream come true,” Beljan told reporters after compiling a 16-under 272 under trying conditions.
Hardly a dream was the way James Driscoll closed out his week and season. The Bostonian finished his 2012 campaign with his seventh missed cut in nine weeks and 12th of the year, but still managed to finish at No. 122 and eke out his PGA Tour card.
Another New Englander, Worcester native Scott Stallings, enjoyed a strong close to his 2012 season, ending up T5 at Disney — four shots back of Beljan — and 66th on the money list.
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer