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Nice, unremarkable kid a bolt from the blue

Date

David Polkinghorne

There was nothing remarkable about Australian PGA champion Daniel Popovic when he was a junior at Yowani Country Club, nothing that would indicate he would one day win one of Australia's biggest tournaments.

He was just a ''really nice kid'' who loved the game.

Popovic burst onto the Australian golfing landscape with a mentally tough, four-shot victory at Coolum, on the Sunshine Coast, on Sunday.

He grew up playing golf at Yowani, before moving to Melbourne when he was 11. The 26-year-old used to watch fellow Canberran Matt Millar practise his chipping at the North Canberra course.

Don Errington, who's been the professional at Yowani for 37 years, said Popovic didn't stand out as a junior, but felt his father Radi, who is suffering from cancer, had been a driving force behind Popovic's rapid rise. ''There wasn't really anything standoutish about Daniel at the time except that his father was very keen for him to do well in golf,'' Errington said.

''He's stood up to the pressure, which I didn't think he would, but then again I have no idea what he's been doing over the last few years.

''But he's a really nice kid, relaxed, no airs and graces about him by the look of it, which is good.''

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