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PGA Tour Confidential: Charlie Beljan wins at Disney after panic attack

Charlie Beljan
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Charlie Beljan overcame a severe panic attack to win his first PGA Tour title.

Dusek: It doesn't mean bad news for the European Tour, but it clearly means that a player doesn't need to play exclusively in Europe, or avoid playing a global schedule, if he's interested in European money titles and other such accolades. Four majors, the World Golf Championships and a half-dozen other events are all you need.

Has the European Tour lost its mojo? Tell us in the comments section below.

Reiterman: Now to the drama at Disney. Charlie Beljan came into the week No. 139 on the money list. He shot a 64 on Friday to build a three-shot lead, but then he went straight to the hospital after his round. During his second round, he had trouble breathing and his blood pressure skyrocketed. After he checked out OK at the hospital, Beljan chalked it up to having a severe panic attack. He came out on the weekend, against doctor's orders, and won the tournament. Your thoughts on Beljan's wild win ...

Herre: I don't see how Beljan can survive on Tour with this disorder (apparently he has a history).

Bamberger: They say beware the sick golfer. But this is extreme. I'm guessing on some weird level he got out of his own way.

Hanger: What I can't get my head around is how he shot 64 while feeling like he was "going to die," with paramedics following him around the course. If he felt that bad Friday, how was he upright on Sunday?

Shipnuck: One of the performances of the year. Gotta love life in the nether regions of the money list -- a panic attack!! That's hard-core.

Reiterman: I'm actually surprised we don't see more of this. I know it's "just golf," but the pressure these players put on themselves is immense.

Bamberger: I totally agree with that, Ryan. It's astounding that there's not more full-blown psychosis out there. I'd like to see the medicine chests.

Shipnuck: Don't forget Robert Karlsson's breakdown this summer. I think this happens more than we know -- the W/D or missed cut is just chalked up to something more benign.

Bamberger: Please don't tell Garrity!

Dusek: It was incredible to see Charlie playing on Friday afternoon, sitting down between shots, visibly nervous and lumbering. I feel guilty for saying it because no one should risk his health for a job, but it was the most riveting and entertaining few hours on the PGA Tour in a long while.

Wei: OK, I have a lot to say all this drama. First of all, impressive win. As someone who suffers from panic attacks, I can speak to how scary and uncomfortable they are. You feel like the walls are closing in on you and you're suffocating, and worst of all, you feel completely out of control. However, once it passes, you're shaken up but otherwise, you're physically fine. (I wrote a column about it so people unfamiliar with these episodes could understand the incident better.)

Godich: Compelling, no doubt. When he staggered near one of those greenside ponds, I thought he was going to fall in.

Walker: I don't care what he did. To me, Beljan's the guy who called the president of the United States a 'D Bag' on Twitter. If he posted an apology, I never saw it.

Bamberger: He did? What a d-bag.

What did you think of Charlie Beljan's win at Disney? Join the conversation in the comments section below.

Reiterman: Because of the PGA Tour's 2013 schedule and exempt-status changes (full recap here), this was the last year for earnings to be a qualifier for a PGA Tour card. (It was also possibly the last event at Disney.) Will you miss the grueling, seesaw battle to make the top 125 on the money list?

Shipnuck: Of course -- it's the most Darwinian aspect of pros sports and the purest distillation of the exquisite torture of tournament golf.

Bamberger: I will. It was so Darwinian. It played out all year and always came down to one or two weeks. It was the real FedEx cup, but with a guy's livelihood on the line, not his philanthropy.

Herre: I will. This evening after the Disney I went right to the money list to see who dropped below the Mendoza Line today. The players who failed to make 125 are quite startling this year, starting with Gary Woodland.

Godich: But I believe Woodland is still exempt, based on his victory at the 2011 Transitions.

Herre: True, but Woodland was a hot item this time a year ago, a sure thing. Now he has a 12-month lease.

Godich: Also worth noting that Woodland is the guy who lost his swing coach (Randy Smith) before the 2012 season, after he dumped Smith's son as his agent. Wonder if Woodland regrets that move now.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: Woodland is fine for next year as per his victory in 2011. I spoke to him at McGladrey and he wasn't worried. He was injured for a big part of this year.

Reiterman: I will miss it, but I have to admit I'm looking forward to the four-tournament battle royal next season. Give the Tour credit for trying to spice things up.

Dusek: I guess that's one of the reasons why I won't miss Q school all that much. I don't watch golf for torture, I watch for fun, entertainment and excitement. In some ways the final PGA Tour event of the season and Q school can provide that, but in the back of my mind I know that every player out there battling for a card had numerous chances to avoid being in that position. They are fighting for a top 125 spot because they haven't played well and might not deserve to return.

Walker: There's something so pure about the money list. I will miss it.

Wei: The race for finishing in the top 125 on the money list was so refreshing. It's simple and everyone can understand it and do the math. I am already mourning the death of the current system. The Tour is becoming more and more like the NASCAR model. Yeah, 'Merica!

What do you think of the PGA Tour replacing the money list with FedEx Cup points to determine Tour status in 2013? Join the conversation in the comments section below.

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