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Scott delight at Pinehurst after a 67 at U.S. Open

By Andrew Both

PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Adam Scott had a smile on his face after shooting a career low U.S. Open round on Friday, a three-under-par 67 that was the second best score among the morning half of the field.

Though Scott ended his second round a distant 10 strokes behind runaway leader Martin Kaymer of Germany, the Australian was delighted with his morning's work at Pinehurst No. 2.

"I would have taken 70 this morning," the world number one told Reuters. "Ever par at a U.S. Open's a great score, even if it's the easiest conditions ever, and I'm not saying that (they were the easiest ever)."

Scott opened with a 73 on Thursday afternoon, but conditions were much easier on Friday morning after overnight rain took most of the fire out of the course, allowing players to fire at pins that might not have been accessible on firm greens.

But the fact that none of the early starters except Kaymer, who fired a second successive 65, managed better than 67 on Friday was evidence that Pinehurst was demanding at the best of times.

"I don't think I played any different than yesterday," said Scott, who had broken par only once in 37 previous rounds at a U.S. Open. "I putted nicely today and I just scored better.

"I think I probably got the better end of the draw on the first two days, coming out early today after a bit of soaking rain overnight and that front nine certainly we could fire a little more aggressively at the pins.

"I hit some good shots, made some putts today and it still felt like hard work. But I'm very happy with the score."

(Reporting by Andrew Both)