Beljan nearly passes out on his way to the lead

Updated 11 November 2012
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Beljan nearly passes out on his way to the lead

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: Charlie Beljan had trouble breathing even before he teed off, called for paramedics when he made the turn and even told his caddie at one point Friday that he thought he might die. With his job on the line at Disney, he kept right on playing until he had a remarkable 8-under 64 to build a three-shot lead going into the weekend.
The next question is if Beljan can even play on the weekend.
Moments after signing his card, Beljan was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance that took him to hospital.
“I think he was scared,” said his caddie, Rick Adcox. “He kept saying he thought he was going to die. He just had that feeling. I don’t know why. But it was spooky.”
Adcox said paramedics told the 28-year-old Beljan on the 10th tee of the Palm Course that his blood pressure “wasn’t good.” It wasn’t immediately known what was ailing Beljan, who leaned back on the stretcher with his eyes closed as he was taken to the ambulance. The tour said he complained of an elevated heart rate, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.
Adcox said Beljan told him there was numbness in his arms and he felt as if he was going to faint.
The struggle was painfully clear the way Beljan stooped over with his hands on his knees, sat down in the middle of the fairway to rest. He backed off shots and tried to take deep breaths. That he wound up in the lead at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic was simply amazing.
“It was bizarre,” said Edward Loar, who played with Beljan. “I don’t know if he thought he was going to make it. It sure didn’t affect his golf. I heard him call for a paramedic on No. 9. Before the round, he said he was having a hard time breathing. Hopefully, the guy was all right. He was having a hard time breathing in there.”
Beljan, in his rookie season on the PGA Tour, is No. 139 on the money list. Disney is the final event of the year, and only the top 125 are assured of keeping their full cards for next year. Beljan would probably need to finish around 10th place to keep his card.
He was at 12-under 132, three shots clear of seven players, a group that included Henrik Stenson, 18-hole leader Charlie Wi, Harris English and Charles Howell III.
Golf didn’t seem to be a big priority at the end of a surreal day across from the Magic Kingdom, and there were concerns that Beljan might not finish.
“I thought a lot of times he was going to stop,” Adcox said. “I didn’t even think he was going to start. He asked me to go find a doctor at the beginning, and I did. The paramedics ... were on No. 10 waiting on him. Blood pressure wasn’t good then. For him to go on, that was pretty much his decision.”
When he did get over a shot, the outcome generally was superb.
“He hit four of the best iron shots I’ve seen on the par 5s,” Loar said. “It was awesome to watch.”
Beljan had two eagles and played the par 5s in 6 under. He struggled to finish, picking up a bogey on the 17th and missing the green to the right on the 18th.

Facing a difficult chip, made even tougher that he looked wobbly over the ball, he hit a beautiful shot to 4 feet to save par.


‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

Updated 15 December 2018
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‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

LONDON: Felipe Massa has acknowledged the possibility of Formula E becoming more popular than its more illustrious rival Formula One, ahead of his debut at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia today.
The Brazilian ace swapped the roaring engines of F1 for the blistering battery power of Formula E this season, and told Arab News that the idea was not “impossible.”
“On overtaking, Formula 1, that’s a difficult question to answer. But what can I say, is that it’s not impossible. We just need to wait and see how things go, (whether) it is ‘when’ or ‘if,’ but it’s definitely not impossible,” he said.
“Formula E and electric cars are becoming ever-more present, but it will definitely be the future, even in the short-term future.
“It (the technology) has already arrived in some countries and will in other countries, too, it is the future. I think Formula E has used that mentality, even five years ago to build this (motorsport) category,” he added.
Massa, who raced for 15 seasons in Formula One and won 11 grands prix, was also positive about the potential of Formula E as it continues to expand after its inception in 2011 and inaugural season in 2014.
“It will take a little bit of time, it’s not easy to get things perfect straight away, but look at the past two years and how much the championship is growing.
“When I say growing, it’s not just with the quality of the drivers, but also with manufacturers’ teams and companies, who are really getting behind the sport.
“Look how many companies they are signing on as sponsors, on many different levels, even companies that sell fuel,” he said.
“We are even racing (this weekend) in a country known as an oil country. So, I think this shows how much this championship is growing.”
Massa also agreed with comments made by F1 director Ross Brawn, who recently said that the highest level of motorsport had become too predictable.
“Only certain racers can win in Formula One, but Formula E is unpredictable and a good example (of that) is that the winners in all past seasons have been different drivers,” he told Arab News.
The affable driver said he is relishing the new challenge that Formula E will pose to his skills and abilities, adding that with the exception of certain parts of the Monaco and Mexico circuits, each track will be new to him.
“I like a challenge, there is a lot to learn and a lot to test myself with and learning the car, working with the team,” he said.
“Even though I’m experienced in motorsport, with my 16 years in Formula One, this is a new test and I will have to start from zero.”
Meanwhile, defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne said hearing the words “world champion” after his name was “still cool.”
When asked about the challenge from teammate Andre Lotterer on the other side of the Techeetah garage, the Frenchman was full of praise for the German driver.
“He is absolutely one of the most talented drivers, and I expect him to be on the same level as I am and, for sure, it’s going to be a nice competition between us.
“It will be good for the team, as that will push everybody, and that is what we want as a team.”
The former F1 driver was complimentary about Formula E’s new “attack mode,” but voiced concerns about the danger the system posed to drivers on corners on the challenging Ad Diriyah circuit this weekend.