Part of complete coverage on
Golfer: I thought I was going to die
November 10, 2012 -- Updated 2251 GMT (0651 HKT)
American rookie Charlie Beljan wins the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic just two days after being taking to hospital with an elevated heart rate and numbness in his arm.
- U.S. golfer Charlie Beljan taken to hospital after almost passing out on the course
- Despite suffering elevated blood pressure, Beljan was leading the tournament
- He is battling to keep his PGA Tour rights after a difficult first season
- Arizona native plays in Saturday's third round against medical advice, retains lead
(CNN) -- It's understandable to feel stress when your livelihood is on the line, but Charlie Beljan is suffering more than most.
"He kept saying he thought he was going to die," the golfer's caddy Rick Adcox said after Friday's second round of the PGA Tour's final tournament of 2012, held at Disney World in Florida.
"A couple times I thought he might pass out. He just said, 'I'm gonna keep going until I pass out or they take me off.' "
Beljan is fighting to keep his full tour card after a difficult first season on the circuit -- the top 125 players qualify for next season, and he is in 139th place.
The stress is taking its toll on the 28-year-old. He was taken to hospital straight after his round, having suffered increased heart rate, high blood pressure and numbness in his arms.
Follow Beljan's progress with latest scores from PGA Tour
Exclusive: Tiger and Rory's 'bromance'
Caroline Wozniacki watches boyfriend Rory McIlroy during the continuation of the weather-delayed first round of the Singapore Open.
'Wozilroy' struggling in Singapore rain
Adam Scott looked set for a first major win at this year's British Open, but four bogeys on the last four holes of the final round let South Africa's Ernie Els swoop in and steal the Australian's crown. Scott missed a putt on the 18th green that would've forced a playoff.
Sport's greatest chokes
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods look on in amusement before banging a ceremonial gong to mark the start of their "Duel at Jinsha Lake."
Duel at Jinsha Lake
Incredibly, despite all this he was leading the tournament, which is known as the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
"I don't know how he hit the golf ball feeling the way he was feeling," Adcox said on the PGA Tour's official website. "I thought he was going to stop when he heard what his blood pressure was."
Adcox said his boss had been hospitalized last month after fainting on a plane flight, but doctors had not found the cause.
Beljan, who became a first-time father less than two months ago, carded an incredible round of eight-under-par 64 to build a three-shot lead in the $4.7 million event.
The first prize is $846,000 -- and Beljan is determined to play on so he can add to his total of $527,528 from 21 tournaments this year.
"Tour official says Charlie Beljan will play today @ Disney after being taken to the hospital on Friday," Golf Channel journalist Rex Hoggard wrote on Twitter before Saturday's third round.
Beljan told the broadcaster on Friday he hoped it was just a panic attack.
PGA Tour reporter Brian Wacker confirmed the news.
"Doc recommended he not play but found nothing wrong physically. Appears to be anxiety related. Beljan is playing," Wacker wrote on Twitter.
And he played well, carding 71 to take a two-shot lead into Sunday's final round. At this stage he is projected to finish 63rd on the money list.
"I honestly didn't think I was going to get through it," Beljan said. "I just stayed strong."
Beljan had no idea that he was leading the tournament during Friday's round.
"It's nice to be able to walk around and smile," he said. "Yesterday, I was hanging on for my life."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.