‘Doctors Said I Almost Died’- Christiaan Bezuidenhout Recalls Tragic Poisoning Tale From His Childhood

Published 09/11/2021, 11:18 AM EDT


South African professional golfer Christiaan Bezuidenhout has been through a lot in his lifetime to reach where he is today. He is a three-time winner on the European Tour and has seven professional wins to his name.

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In a grocery store when he was two years old, Bezuidenhout unconsciously drank rat poison from a soda bottle. As a result, he suffered a near-death experience and spent weeks in the hospital ICU. The poison affected his entire nervous system and impaired his speech to give him a stutter.

Golf – European Tour – BMW PGA Championship – Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain – September 9, 2021 South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

“My memory doesn’t go back that far, but I’m told I was in the grocery store with my parents, and there was a soda bottle on the ground. I picked it up and drank from it. It wasn’t soda, it was rat poison. When my parents turned around, I was already unconscious on the ground. They rushed me to the hospital, and I spent weeks in the ICU. The doctors said I almost died. That rat poison affected my whole nervous system. Ever since, I’ve had a stutter,” he told Golf Digest. 

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Unknowingly, this stutter derailed and threatened his entire golfing career. The speech impairment caused him to develop anxiety and nervousness when speaking in front of large crowds. However, this was inevitable after a win in a tournament. To help him relax in such situations, he was prescribed beta blockers- a type of medicine.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout was also banned for an illegal substance

At the 2014 British Amateur Championship, Bezuidenhout failed a drug test for the medication that he had been on for more than 10 years. Before his professional career could even begin, it carried a big question mark. He said, “I was hurt and confused,” and claimed he was unaware that it was illegal. After nine long months, his name was finally cleared, and the ban was lifted.

 

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However, the battle for him was far from over. He turned professional but struggled for a long time to find himself. Finally, he made a breakthrough and won his first professional title in 2019.

Where is Bezuidenhout right now?

He beat the current world number 1, Jon Rahm, at the 2019 Andalucia Masters to secure his first European Tour win. In the currently ongoing BMW PGA Championship, the current 44th ranked golfer in the world played a spectacular first round and finished 8-under par and succeeded in making the cut

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We’ll have to wait and watch what awaits him in the future.

Read Also- How to Watch 2021 BMW PGA Championship Round 3: Tee Times, Pairings, Weather Report and Live Coverage Info

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Ishita Bhargava

28 articles

Ishita Bhargava is a golf content writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, she has a keen interest in sports and fitness. When not playing or watching a sports event, Ishita can be seen spending time with her pets or binge-watching.

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