Beljan out of hospital and ready to play Disney


Beljan out of hospital and ready to play Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) One day after he spent some five hours wondering if he was going to die, Charlie Beljan returned to Disney on Saturday with only an hour of sleep in the hospital and concern that he might face another day of a racing heart and shortness of breath.

``I'm still not feeling that great,'' Beljan said on the putting green. ``But shoot, the position I'm in, it's kind of hard not to show up.''

Despite what he says was an anxiety attack that spun out of control, Beljan managed an 8-under 64 that gave him a three-shot lead in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Beljan can't afford to miss this opportunity. He is No. 139 on the PGA Tour money list, and only the top 125 get their full card for next year. Disney is the final official event of the year.

He said doctors ran a battery of tests and found nothing wrong.

``Yesterday, I honestly feared for me life,'' Beljan said.

Paramedics found his blood pressure to be alarmingly high at the turn Friday, and they followed him around the rest of the second round. He was wheeled out of the scoring room on a stretcher and taken to Celebration Hospital.

Beljan said he didn't take his golf shoes off until 4:30 a.m., and he slept for only one hour before being released.

``They released me saying that they thought I was good enough ... maybe not to go play golf, but at least to leave the hospital,'' Beljan said. ``I'm making the decision to come out here and play. Who knows if we'll last two holes? Who knows if we'll last 18 holes? We're just going to take it one shot a time, which I did yesterday, and ended up pretty good.''

The second round remains a blur. Beljan was hyperventilating so much that he felt numbness in his arms. His chest heaved as tried to draw a deep breath. At times he would stoop over, sit in the middle of the fairway waiting his turn to hit and kneel on the green before putting. His golf, which included two eagles, was so far removed from his thoughts that at one point, he thought he might miss the cut. Only later did he realize he had a three-shot lead.

Beljan said doctors didn't give him a clear answer on what happened.

``Maybe an anxiety or panic attack that spun out of control, having to fight it for six hours or so,'' he said. ``But as far as blood work, the CAT scan, the lungs, the heart, everything was wonderful, which was a huge relief. But still, I'm going to have to go back out there and face the feelings today.''

Beljan likely would need to finish around 10th place to make enough money to keep his card.

The first sign of trouble was three months ago, when he said he passed out on a plane returning home from the Reno-Tahoe Open. He said he hasn't felt the same since, although a number of tests have not indicated anything wrong with him physically.

Beljan said he's been so occupied with his health that he hasn't though about his three-shot lead, the first time the 28-year-old rookie has led after any round on the PGA Tour.

He said he felt better than he did Friday, ``but still not great.''

``A little nervous heading into today, just strictly for how I'm going to feel and what my body is going to do,'' Beljan said. ``I don't even remember yesterday's round. I just remember fighting, one step at a time, one shot at a time, and counting down the holes until I was going to be done. I was scared. I've never been that scared.

``We'll see what we can do today, though,'' he said. ``Hopefully, regardless of the score, just complete 18 holes. I look forward to having some fun today. And we'll see what happens. It's a dream come true.''


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Mystics win fourth straight, beat Sky 81-74

USA Today Sports Images

Mystics win fourth straight, beat Sky 81-74

 In their second victory against the Chicago Sky this season, Elena Delle Donne dominated once again.

In 33 minutes of play, the star forward racked up 22 points, seven rebounds and 9 of 15 field goals against her former team. She led the Mystics in points and rebounds. 

Tianna Hawkins brought a spark off the bench, tallying 15 points, four rebounds, six of ten field goals and a +11 differential in just 18 minutes of play. 

The Mystics won all four games on this road trip, tying their season-high win streak from earlier this season. Washington is now 8-3 as they head home to host the Connecticut Sun, who just snapped a seven-game win streak.


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Free Agency Bracket: Joonas Donskoi vs. Carl Gunnarsson

NBC Sports Washington

Free Agency Bracket: Joonas Donskoi vs. Carl Gunnarsson

It is almost time for NHL free agency to begin and the Capitals certainly have needs to fill and a limited budget. Who would be the best fit? Who would be the best free agent target for Washington to pursue? That’s what NBC Sports Washington wants to find out!

Our experts got together and made a bracket of the 16 best free agent fits. The bracket is divided into four regions: Third line forward, fourth line forward, depth defenseman and Caps’ free agent. Now we want you to tell us who you want to see rocking the red next year!

Every weekday we will match two free agents up against one another and present a case for each player. Then you get to vote and decide who advances!

Check out today’s semifinal matchup:

Joonas Donskoi vs. Carl Gunnarsson

2018-19 stats

Joonas Donskoi (27 years old): 80 games played for the San Jose Sharks, 14 goals, 23 assists, 37 points, 13:25 TOI

Playoffs: 12 games played for the San Jose Sharks, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, 12:26 TOI

Carl Gunnarsson (32 years old): 25 games played with the St. Louis Blues, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, 15:15 TOI

Playoffs: 19 games played with the St. Louis Blues, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, 14:57 TOI, won Stanley Cup

Hockey-Graph contract projections 

Joonas Donskoi: 3 years, $2,847,521 cap hit

Carl Gunnarsson: 1 year, $731,159 cap hit

The case for Joonas Donskoi

Maybe Andre Burakovsky’s qualifying offer of $3.25 million means he’s back with the Capitals for another year. But it doesn’t preclude a trade and in Donskoi you’d have a similar option at a cheaper price, which matters if you only have $9.2 million in cap space left for now.

Donskoi made the offense better in San Jose in whatever role he was asked to play. He can go up and down the lineup and had a consistency to his game that Burakovsky at times lacks. Donskoi’s stats may not always reflect that, but making his teammates around him better is a valuable asset. Either way, depth scoring is important and a priority for the Capitals. 

Donskoi has every bit the Stanley Cup playoff experience as Burakovsky does if that matters to you. Donskoi has nine goals and 12 assists in 50 playoff games and Burakovsky has nine goals and nine assists in 56 playoff games. Not much to chose between the team except Donskoi would be cheaper if Washington decided to trade Burakovsky. 

The case for Carl Gunnarsson

The Caps will need a No. 6/7 defenseman after Brooks Orpik retired on Tuesday. Yes, they gave a qualifying offer to RFA defenseman Christian Djoos and they have Jonas Siegenthaler under contract, too. Both are natural left side defensemen. Going with the kids is an option. But both of them? That becomes problematic when someone gets hurt in your top two pairings and players have to bump up. 

Gunnarsson was the hero of the “Boston Pee Party” when he scored the overtime winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final after declaring to head coach Craig Berube at the urinal he just needed one more opportunity. Gunnarsson had just seven points in the regular season so no one should expect a ton of offense, but the point is he delivered when it mattered most.

When he is not playing the overtime hero, he is a third-pairing, stay at home defenseman who can play on the penalty kill which is pretty much exactly what the Caps need in a depth defenseman.

Take a look at Gunnarsson’s contract projection. You can’t beat that price. Sure, those projections came out before he won the Stanley Cup, but even if his price goes up, it will not be significant. You’re tinkering at the margins of the roster here and championship experience matters. 

Who’s your pick? Vote here: