Popovic opens heart for China Open
Most young golf Professionals can be forgiven for going on a spending spree when they bank their first winners' cheque, but Daniel Popovic had other plans for the U.S. $237,000 he earned in December after claiming the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola.
Popovic's mind will be concentrated on the biggest tournament of his career this week when he tees it up at the U.S. $2.3 million Volvo China Open in Tianjin, but his heart and soul will be back in Melbourne, where his father is battling cancer.
The 27-year-old was a fairytale winner of the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola last year; an unheralded rookie who had at least a share of the lead from round one and held off the country's best Professionals down the stretch -- including a slew of PGA TOUR and European Tour veterans.
The story that touched the hearts of all who watched, however, was the revelation that Popovic's father, Radi, was gravely ill with a rare form of bone cancer -- too weak even to travel to Coolum to see his son's first Professional victory.