Food poisoning forces Popovic to withdraw from European Tour qualifying

Popovic forgoes a chance to defend his title at the Australian PGA Championship only to be hit with a bout of food poisoning at European Tour qualifying in Spain.

When Daniel Popovic found out that the European Tour qualifying tournament clashed with his defence of the Australian PGA Championship, he realised he had a tough choice to make. Does he head to the Gold Coast and defend his title at Royal Pines or does he make the trip to Spain to see if he can get himself on the European Tour last year?

Popovic’s victory at the 2012 Australian PGA Championship was a massive upset. His victory was remarkable given he had not long joined the professional ranks and spent some of the year tending to his father who was battling leukaemia.

Brent Read wrote on Popovic’s dilemma in The Australian last month:

Popovic, in Western Australia for this week’s Perth International, became aware of the clash of dates only on Monday, when he was at dinner with fellow professionals Kieran Pratt and Craig Hasthorpe.

His first reaction was one of shock as he confronted what could be a defining moment in his career.

“It’s almost like a decision that can change the rest of your life,” Popovic said.

“You can go one way and make a big mistake. Or you could go one way and it could be the best decision I have ever made. So I really have to have a sit-down and have a big think about it.”

Popovic elected to forego his title defence at the PGA and head to the PGA Catalunya Resort to see if he could crack the big time but it didn’t work out exactly as he had planned.

After the opening round of the six round qualifying, a bout of food poisoning hit the 27-year-old hard and Popovic knew he was in trouble of competing the next day.

Popovic only managed to play one hole of his second round before being forced to withdraw.

It must be a huge disappointment for Popovic who had his sights firmly set on this goal for most of the year.

Popovic now heads back to Australia to recover. No word on whether he can be back in time for a start at the Australian Masters or whether he could stomach any airline food on the way home.

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