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Daniel Popovic in charge in Australia

Updated: Saturday, 15 Dec 2012 12:26 | Comments

Daniel Popovic leads the Australian PGA Championship on 13-under-par
Daniel Popovic leads the Australian PGA Championship on 13-under-par

Daniel Popovic holds the lead heading into the final day of the Australian PGA Championship, with a three-under-par 69 helping him keep his nose in front on the Sunshine Coast.

The Victorian started the day locked alongside China's Zhang Xin Jun, but signed his card knowing his nearest challenge now comes in the shape of a fellow Australian, Anthony Brown.

Zhang dropped two shots over the course of his round and dropped down to an eight-under tie for ninth, but Brown trimmed eight shots off the par score to move to 11 under, two adrift of Popovic.

The leader started the day well with two birdies over three holes, but slipped up on the par-five fifth and par-three eighth, but kept himself in command thanks to birdies at the ninth, 14th, 16th and 18th.

"I'm over the moon, I couldn't be feeling any better right now," the 26-year-old told the tournament`s official website.

"I knew that I had it in me and I still know that I do have one more good round tomorrow in me.

"I've just got to keep in routine. What I've been doing has been working this week."

He will need to keep an eye on Brown, though, who started the day seven shots off the pace but rocketed up the leaderboard in the third group out.

His day would have been even better were it not for the bogey that sat alongside his nine birdies.

"I knew that there was a good round in me, I didn't really have any expectations at the start of the day but whenever you shot 64 in any tournament, let alone the PGA, you take it," he said.

Peter Senior and Matthew Griffin are the next in line, tied up on 10 under, with four players another shot back. Senior is the last man to have been in the lead at the end of the first three days and go on to win the tournament, doing so nine years ago.

"I'm pretty happy with the way things are going, I played a lot better today than I had even last week," he said.

Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy are amongst those on nine under, with defending champion Greg Chalmers six shots off the pace.

Further down, Darren Clarke recorded three early birdies before falling away and ending up on five under overall.

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