I thought I was watching a tear jerker with my wife on the Lifetime Channel Sunday afternoon, instead, I was watching the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classics at the Disney Magnolia Course, the place where dreams are made.
Let’s see…28 year old tour rookie who needs to finish well in order to get his tour card, has panic attack on Friday, but as paramedics follow him around the golf course to make sure he wasn’t dying, shoots a phenomenal 8 under par 64 to grab a three stroke lead, but has to be taken away in an ambulance. Go ahead, get some tissues, there’s more.
Rookie spends the night at the hospital as doctors do what doctors do, run test after test, but find nothing that will endanger his life. He returns to the golf course after getting only a couple hours of sleep, on Saturday and after a shaky start shoots one under par to maintain his lead.
On Sunday, he returns to the golf course where at one juncture, he makes four birdies in a row, and marches up the eighteenth fairway with his wife, who flew in with his mother and seven week old child over night waiting in tears to watch him make the final putt that would change his life forever…time to break out the tissues..Everyone hugs, shakes hands and cries. Ok..put away the Kleenex box.
The story of Charlie Beljan gained momentum from the time it started on Friday afternoon, and as it was shown on news clips, and made it’s way around the internet through the weekend, it became the subject everyone was talking about. Instead of watching the football pre-game shows, people were tuned in to the Golf Channel(almost Tiger like) to find out how Charlie was doing, and if he was still in the lead.
In what was probably the last season ending tournament at Disney, Charlie Beljan fired a three under par 69 in the final round to secure his first win on the PGA Tour. Along with the $846,000 dollar purse which pushes his 2012 earnings up to almost $1.4 million dollars, and safely within the top 125 on the Money List at 22nd, other benefits that includes his Tour Card, a two year exemption, a trip to Hawaii for the start of the 2013 season, and invitations to tournaments reserved for tour winners.
The other story on Sunday at the Magic Kingdom, was the the magical 125th position. It was a close call between Kevin Chappell who had a terrible weekend shooting 72, 73 on Saturday and Sunday and needed help from Josh Teater, who was in the last group, and Jerry Kelly who ended up having a good tournament. Chappell get his card, and Kelly will have to tee it up this week in the Q School. The other close call was Tim Herron. Lumpy shot a three under 69 on Sunday to get to 124, and his card for next year.