AUSSIE Daniel Popovic will skip this week's defence of the Australian PGA Championship title in an attempt to earn a European Tour card.
Twelve months ago as an Australasian Tour rookie he led from start to finish at the Palmer Coolum course in Queensland to win the PGA.
While Masters champion Adam Scott will be the centre of attraction this year, Popovic will take part in the final stage of European Tour qualifying school at the PGA Catalunya course in Girona, Spain.
"I'm not defending the Australian PGA because of the European Tour Q-School, and I'm absolutely devastated," Popovic said ahead of Sunday's final round of the $8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
"I think for my future and my career I have to go to the Q-School," he added.
"In the bigger picture it is a European Tour card I want and I am sure that I will have many more chances in my career to play the Australian PGA.
"Getting my European Tour card is going to be the best opportunity of getting to where I want to be in my career and where you can be challenging yourself every week."
Prior to his victory a year ago, Popovic nearly quit golf to take care of his seriously ill father.
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