Completed: Oceanico Victoria GCOct 9-12

Portugal Masters

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Perth International Golf Championship

Tour rookie Daniel Popovic opens up two-shot lead at Australian PGA Championship

Last Updated: 13/12/12 4:03pm

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Daniel Popovic: Two-shot lead at the Australian PGA Championship

Daniel Popovic: Two-shot lead at the Australian PGA Championship

Sky Bet

Rookie Daniel Popovic has set the early pace at the Australian PGA Championship after an opening round of eight-under.

Popovic, who is in his first year on the Australasian PGA Tour, carded 64 to open up a two-shot lead at the Palmer Coolum Resort.

Starting on the 10th, Popovic birdied his first four holes and then picked up successive shots on the 17th, 18th, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The only blot on the 25-year-old's copybook came with a bogey on the 15th.

First-round leaderboard

-8 Daniel Popovic (Aus)
-6 Scott Strange (Aus)
-5 Tze-huang Choo (Sin)
-5 Xin-jun Zhang (Chn)
-5 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus)
-4 Stephen Dartnall (Aus)
-4 Ryan Haller (Aus)
-4 Jason Scriverner (Aus)
-4 Peter Senior (Aus)

"It wasn't the best of conditions, but after last week at the Australian Open I got used to hitting a lot of wind shots," he said.

"I didn't really want to attack the flags, but after a while I talked to my caddie and we decided to start hitting straight at them."

Compatriot Scott Strange remains hot on Popovic's heels after his round of 66, while former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, Zhang Xinjun and Choo Tze-huang are a shot further back.

Australian Open winner Peter Senior is joined by Stephen Dartnall, Jason Scriverner and Ryan Haller on four-under.

Darren Clarke finished with a two-under 70, however Greg Norman was forced to pull out after just two holes.

Norman carded back-to-back bogeys but food poisoning ended his participation in the event.

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