Bezuidenhout seeks Portrush 'revenge' after beta-blocker ban

Published 1:01 p.m. ET July 16, 2019


PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — From developing a stutter and anxiety issues after drinking rat poison as a toddler to getting banned from golf for taking beta blockers, Christiaan Bezuidenhout has overcome plenty on the way to his first major championship.

It has been quite the journey to this week’s British Open for the 25-year-old South African. That it takes place at Royal Portrush brings so much of it back.

“It almost feels like revenge,” Bezuidenhout said.

It was at Royal Portrush where he took a doping test during the British Amateur in 2014 that briefly sent his career off track.

Bezuidenhout was taking prescribed beta blockers at the time to cope with a severe case of anxiety brought on by a stutter, which made him scared to answer the phone or simply answer a question. He was depressed and “basically living in my own world.”

He had been dealing with the affliction ever since he was 2, when he picked up a soda bottle in the street and drank from it, unaware it contained rat poison. He had to get his stomach pumped, but the poison affected his nervous system and would give him a stutter.

Two months after…

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