First round Australian PGA leader Daniel Popovic
First round Australian PGA leader Daniel Popovic says his parents would be proud of him.PT0M0S 620 349
Daniel Popovic's mother Mila was in tears and couldn't bear to watch.
His father Radi couldn't watch either - he was in hospital having blood tests.
Daniel Popovic lines up a putt on the 12th hole during round two of the Australian PGA Championship at Palmer Coolum Resort. Photo: Getty Images
But their 26-year-old golfing son delivered on his promise to keep playing aggressively at the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast following Thursday's headline-grabbing opening round of 64.
His was heading for another impressive round today until a double bogey at the relatively-easy 529-metre par-5 15th hole - which he also messed up on Thursday - opened the door for Geoff Ogilvy to make a significant dint in his five-shot lead.
"The 15th, I just can't get my head around it," said Popovic whose response to the double bogey was to tell his caddie "let's make birdie on the next".
But his comment showed the mental side of his game that will be needed on the weekend when the pressure goes up a few notches.
When he walked off the 18th green with a two-under 70, he had a two-shot clubhouse lead over Ogilvy (67-69) who was happy enough with his mixed day at the office which included six birdies and three bogeys.
"I'm stoked. I can't get the smile off my face," said Popovic, adding he was still playing well and had a lot of confidence.
Popovic, an unknown coming into the tournament, opened up to the media after Thursday's great round about his father's battle with incurable cancer and how his parents were highly-emotional people.
"Mum told me she couldn't watch - she was in tears," he said.
"Dad was in hospital today having some more blood tests done."
Popovic said being able to watch and learn from Ogilvy during a practice round at Coolum on Tuesday had been a real eye opener.
"Just seeing how he goes about things. He has won a major - there isn't really that much of a step," he said, again showing his confidence.
However, when it comes to following Ogilvy's fitness regime, the solidly-built Popovic had other ideas.
Asked about his fitness routine, he said: "Absolutely none".
"I play 18 holes of golf," he said.
-10: Daniel Popovic (AUS) 18 holes
-9: Xin Jun Zhang (CHN) 13 holes
-8: Matthew Griffin (AUS) 18 holes, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 18 holes
-7: Steven Bowditch (AUS) 18 holes, Mathew Goggin (AUS) 18 holes
-6: Brad Kennedy (AUS) 13 holes, Tze-huang Choo (SIN) 7 holes, Rod Pampling (AUS) 18 holes
-5: Marc Leishman (AUS) 10 holes, Richard Green (AUS) 18 holes, Matthew Millar (AUS) 18 holes, Darren Clarke (NIR) 18 holes, Jason Kang (USA) 18 holes, Stephen Leaney (AUS) 18 holes, Leigh McKechnie (AUS) 18 holes, Peter Senior (AUS) 10 holes, Kurt Barnes (AUS) 14 holes, Steve Conran (AUS) 18 holes