Nationals

Beljan wins 1st event after a wild week at Disney

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Beljan wins 1st event after a wild week at Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) With his first PGA Tour victory, Charlie Beljan feels as though he can handle anything golf throws at him.

Only it's not because of the way he played in the final round on Sunday.

It's how he survived the second round on Friday.

Beljan's rookie season ended in a way not even he could have imagined. He showed up figuring the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic would be his last competition until Q-school because he was No. 139 on the money list and Disney was the final event of the year. He had a panic attack so severe on Friday that not only did he struggle to breath and his blood pressure spiked, he thought he was on the verge of missing the cut when in fact he had a three-shot lead.

Taken out of a scoring room on a stretcher, he spent the night in the hospital, forgetting until finally dozing off for an hour that he still was wearing his golf shoes. He returned to Disney on Saturday morning fearful of another panic attack, and he had to fight through one at the turn. And to cap it all off, he pulled away by making five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the Magnolia Course.

Clearly, this was not as simple as saying Beljan shot 69 on the last day and won by two.

``Friday is what I will remember from this week,'' Beljan said. ``And the obviously, being the champion of the tournament, I won't forget that, either. But if I can do what I did on Friday, there's nothing that's not possible for me.''

It was an amazing journey, and the 28-year-old was overwhelmed by where it leads next.

For starters, he went from preparing for Q-school to a two-year exemption. He gets to Hawaii a week early for the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. He can play tournaments hosted by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. He'll be at the PGA Championship for only his third major. He played in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines and Bethpage Black, both times having to go through both qualifying stages.

Somewhere along the way, he'll undergo more tests to see if he can figure out what's wrong with him.

As terrible as it looked - the heaving chest, lying down in the fairway, being followed by paramedics and being loaded into an ambulance - Beljan said doctors found nothing physically wrong.

He figures it was an anxiety attack that spiraled out of control, mainly because he was stuck on a golf course with nowhere to go.

Beljan said he has had a half-dozen other attacks in the past few months, after passing out on a flight home from the Reno-Tahoe Open.

What should put his mind at ease is how he played. He began the final round with a two-shot lead, hit a poor chip and a worse putt to bogey the first hole, bounced back with two birdies on the next three holes, and then three-putted from the fringe on the fifth. He was tied for the lead, when Beljan knocked in an 18-foot putt from just off the green at No. 7, not knowing that would be the first of four straight birdies, and five birdies in a six-hole stretch.

``I knew I was hitting it well,'' he said. ``And as long as I just kept giving myself opportunities, I was going to be all right.''

He knocked in a couple of 30-foot birdie putts during his streak to build a five-shot lead, only to make double bogey on the easiest par 4 on the back nine with a drive into the trees and a bunker shot through the green. No matter. One last birdie followed to settle him down.

Robert Garrigus pulled within two shots with his birdie on the 14th, but he made no more and shot 68. Matt Every also had a 68 to tie for second, though he was never a serious factor over the final hour.

Beljan finished 16-under 272 and earned $846,000.

Tim Herron was the other big winner Sunday, closing with a 69 to tie for ninth. That gave him enough money to move from No. 138 to No. 124 on the money list, giving him his full card for the 2013 season.

Kevin Chappell finished at No. 125. He wound up $1,809 ahead of Jerry Kelly, but Chappell wasn't safe until Charlie Wi and Josh Teater each made par on the last hole. If either had made bogey, Kelly would have moved up one position - from a six-way tie for ninth to a seven-way tie for eighth - that would have allowed him to pass Chappell.

Instead, Kelly is out of the top 125 for the first time in his career.

Perhaps it was only fitting that Beljan felt his heart bursting out of his chest on Sunday - ``for a great reason,'' he said, alluding to the excitement of winning. Friday was the frightening variety, but he made it through.

Even after he was cleared at the hospital, Beljan wasn't sure if he could last one hole or all 18 on Saturday. He cleared that hurdle, and then awoke Sunday morning sick to his stomach and with a throbbing headache. Nothing ever comes easily.

``Every day I drove underneath that Disney sign coming in here that said, `Where dreams come true,' and that's just what happened this week,'' Beljan said.

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Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

The Washington Nationals moved to 33-38 after splitting the four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. Now, Bryce Harper and the rival Philadelphia Phillies come to town for a four-game stretch that can prove vital to Washington and the team's better play.

Player Notes:

Stephen Strasburg gave up six runs over five innings on nine hits over five innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday. His ERA is now 3.75 with 115 strikeouts in 96 innings with a 1.06 WHIP, but can rebound Thursday against the Phillies.

He's not yet 21, but Juan Soto is playing like he's been in the league for years. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with his 11th homer on Saturday. He now has 41 RBI on the season to go along with an OPS of .885 over 62 games.

Adam Eaton went 3-for-3 with an RBI, two walks and a run scored in the Nationals’ lopsided 15-5 win on Sunday. The 30-year-old outfielder is fully healthy, hitting .280/.365/.398 with 41 runs scored, 19 RBI and five steals in 302 plate appearances.

Superstar Anthony Rendon went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three runs scored in the Sunday win, which included his 16th longball of the season. He'shitting .321/.415/.660 with 52 runs scored, 50 RBI and one stolen base across 246 plate appearances this season.

Injuries:

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, could return mid-June

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

C Kurt Suzuki: Clavicle, sidelined

RP Kyle Barraclough: Biceps, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Monday 6/17: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Tuesday 6/18: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Wednesday 6/19: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Thursday 6/20: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

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Source: Rotoworld

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Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

With all but one of the brick-and-mortar movie stores closed down, there are really only two instances that you hear the word 'blockbuster' these days: when describing Marvel movies and for the type of trade we saw this weekend between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Anthony Davis deal is a blockbuster trade in every sense. It is big in the number of pieces involved and because Davis is one of the best players on the planet.

It is important because it could immediately vault the Lakers into title contention. And it provides a new superteam for the league to revolve around and for people to loathe with the Golden State Warriors currently licking their wounds.

But it is also the type of deal that will have major consequences around the league, one that will affect far more than just the teams at the top. It will force a collection of other teams to redraw their blueprints.

The obvious ones are the Knicks and Celtics, the two teams most closely linked to Davis in trade rumors. Now, it is New York that has more urgency, if not desperation, to strike in free agency. Boston to regroup and will probably need to ponder other trades if they want to reassert themselves in the Eastern Conference.

The Davis trade would be a major deal no matter the year, but it is fascinating to evaluate in the context of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson's injuries. The league went from being very predictable to a wide open pasture of possibilities.

Now, the Warriors are good still but are also a beatable team. A window of NBA parity is cracking open and surely the Lakers won't be the only team to pounce.

Houston, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City are always aggressive and will clearly be thinking big. Portland and Denver could see this as the year to go all-in.

Not all teams looking to make a splash will have money to spend in free agency. That points to an aggressive trade market this summer, but there is arguably one big problem. After Davis, it doesn't seem likely many other stars will be available.

Teams seeking stars via trade have enjoyed plenty of options in recent years between Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. The formula is generally fairly simple: an All-Star player on an underachieving team with the end of his contract in sight. Recently, the supply has met the demand.

But currently, few fit that description. There are some like Mike Conley Jr. of the Grizzlies, and Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside of the Heat. But none of those players are All-Stars in their prime.

All of that makes it easy to connect the dots to the Wizards and Bradley Beal. They are in an interesting spot, needing to decide whether to retool for playoff contention or take the long view and undergo some degree of a rebuild.

Beal, as their best player, is the catalyst. There are logical reasons to keep him or to trade him. He is one of the best players in franchise history, is only 25 and he's on a team-friendly contract in the era of the supermax. But the Wizards are going to have a tough time improving their roster with John Wall's Achilles injury and contract, which starts at 35 percent of the salary cap. 

The Wizards have held a stance of not wanting to trade Beal and still do. They also likely wouldn't make such an important decision without a long-term team president in place.

But that won't stop teams from calling and there is already speculation around the league about whether Beal will be dealt. One front office executive told NBC Sports Washington that Beal could be the top prize in the trade market if made available now that Davis is gone. 

For a lot of these situations, trades are more likely when a player is entering his walk year. Beal is signed through the 2020-21 season and, even if he grows unhappy, will say the right things.

He won't create necessary drama. And, if you take him at his word in a February interview with NBC Sports Washington, he wouldn't request a trade himself.

Also, there is a reason to believe keeping Beal wouldn't hurt their ability to rebuild through the draft. With the new lottery system, bottoming out doesn't offer the guarantees that it used to. And even with Beal playing all 82 games last season, the Wizards still lost 50 of them and finished with the sixth-best odds.

Just like some have argued the Wizards have reasons to trade Beal, they also have reasons not to. But that won't stop other teams from picking up the phone.

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