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Popovic scores one of the great wins

By AAP .
16 December 2012 06:16PM EST

DANIEL Popovic has pulled off a fairytale victory, leading for all four days before claiming a four-shot triumph in the Australian PGA Championship at the Palmer Coolum resort.

Popovic (64-70-69-69) finished on 16-under 272 after beginning the tournament ranked 1251 in the world and a 400-1 bolter.

He spent most of the final day locked in a titanic tussle with Queensland's Rod Pampling (71-67-69-69) who crashed over the closing holes after starting his charge with six successive birdies.

Pampling and fellow Australian Anthony Brown were tied for second at 12-under.

Popovic, whose father Radi is battling incurable bone cancer, showed amazing composure down the stretch as Pampling imploded.

He had the benefit of standing on the 18th tee and watching as an aggressive Pampling put his approach to the last green into the water.

Popovic led from day one after announcing his arrival with a round of 64.

He backed it up with rounds of 70-69 and Sunday's three-under 69 to pocket the $225,000 winner's cheque in his 13th professional start this year.

His parents had planned to fly up to Brisbane on Sunday to see their son play but decided at the last minute the trip would be difficult to undertake and watched in tears from their lounge room in Melbourne.

Popovic's win is the biggest upset in a major Australian golf event since Craig Spence beat a world-class field to win the 1999 Australian Masters.

"I can't believe this has happened. I really just can't believe it," Popovic said.

Brown (73-68-64-71) finished in a tie for second on 12 under with Pampling.

Geoff Ogilvy (67-69-72-69) and Brad Kennedy (69-68-70-70) shared fourth place.

LEADERBOARD
272: Daniel Popovic (AUS) 64 70 69 69

276: Anthony Brown (AUS) 73 68 64 71, Rod Pampling (AUS) 71 67 69 69

277: Brad Kennedy (AUS) 69 68 70 70, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 67 69 72 69

278: Richard Green (AUS) 71 68 70 69, Nathan Green (AUS) 72 71 66 69

279: Darren Clarke (NIR) 70 69 72 68, Mathew Goggin (AUS) 71 66 70 72, Steven Bowditch (AUS) 70 67 74 68, Marc Leishman (AUS) 69 70 73 67, Michael Wright (AUS) 70 73 66 70, Matthew Griffin (AUS) 69 67 70 73, John Senden (AUS) 73 69 69 68, James Nitties (AUS) 70 72 68 69, Stephen Dartnall (AUS) 68 72 68 71

280: Matthew Millar (AUS) 73 66 70 71, Brendan Jones (AUS) 73 67 67 73, Adam Crawford (AUS) 70 71 70 69, Jason Kang (USA) 70 69 71 70

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