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James Driscoll ties course record 63 to lead in Puerto Rico

(Reuters) - PGA Tour journeyman James Driscoll tied his own course record to earn a one-stroke lead after the second round of the $3.5 million Puerto Rico Open on Friday.

Driscoll had an eagle and seven birdies in a nine-under-par 63 on the Trump International course next to the Atlantic Ocean in Rio Grande, east of San Juan.

"I had the putter going pretty hot today and I hit a bunch of shots pretty close too," the 36-year-old from Boston told reporters after signing for a 12-under 132 halfway total.

PGA Tour rookie Chesson Hadley (65) moved into second place on 11-under, while fellow American Eric Axley (66) was alone on 10-under.

New Zealander Danny Lee (68) was among a group of four players at nine-under, while first round leader Brian Stuard (71) slipped five strokes behind.

A morning downpour that briefly stopped play left the course soft and at the mercy of the field, which averaged 70.23 strokes, more than a stroke better than on Thursday, despite brisk winds.

Driscoll, who also shot 63 in 2011 to hold a share of the course record, is enjoying a solid season, sitting 67th on the FedEx Cup standings.

"I wasn't hitting it great off the tee but the irons were really solid, so that gave me a chance coming into these pins," he said.

"The wind was blowing pretty hard out there this afternoon. From tee to green (this course) gives you a little room. If you play smart and manage your game, you don't have to hit perfect shots all day."

Eighty players made the cut, which fell at one-under. Former world number one and ex-British Open champion David Duval was among those to exit early.

(Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Julian Linden)

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