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November 11, 2012

PGA Tour rookie overcomes panic attack to win Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

Charlie-beljan-337On Friday night, 28-year-old PGA Tour rookie Charlie Beljan thought he might die. On Sunday afternoon, he gave his career a whole new life.

Beljan won the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, the last full-field event of the Tour's season, to secure a two-year exemption and move from 139th to 63rd on the money list.

His winning effort was remarkable not just because it was his first, but also because he overcame a panic attack on Friday that was so severe that paramedics followed him on the back nine and he went to the hospital after signing his scorecard.

(More from Golf.com: The 10 Toughest Tee Times in America)

He was short of breath, with soaring blood pressure, during his second round, but he still made two eagles and shot 64 to take a three-shot lead. He was released from the hospital in the middle of the night, only hours before his Saturday tee time. He managed to finish 71-69 on the weekend for a 16-under total, two shots better than Matt Every and Robert Garrigus.

''I thought I literally had a chance to die,'' said Beljan, who played his college golf at New Mexico and earned a spot in the big leagues at last year's PGA Tour qualifying tournament. His best finish before Sunday was a tie for third at this year's Greenbrier Classic.

PGA Tour Confidential: Our experts discuss Beljan's win and more

Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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