Scott in command at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:35pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Australian Adam Scott produced another masterful driving display to surge to a rare seven-shot lead after the second round at the $6.2 million Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Friday.

The Masters champion, who started the day with a three-shot cushion after an opening 62, more than doubled his advantage with a four-under-par 68 on the Bay Hill course in Orlando.

No one has had a bigger halfway lead on the PGA Tour in nearly 24 years as Scott equaled the tournament's 36-hole record by Andy Bean and Tom Watson in 1981.

"I hit the ball really nicely today, probably struck it much better than yesterday but I didn't make as many putts," Scott told Golf Channel after posting a 14-under 130 total.

"It was a good solid round. I was never really out of position (apart from the first hole) and I managed my game pretty well. It's all kind of coming together, the work I've been doing."

Italian Francesco Molinari (70) and Americans J.B. Holmes (69) and Chesson Hadley (68) are in a distant tie for second on seven-under.

Scott, widely regarded as the best driver in the game, showed why he is so highly rated as he split fairway after fairway, hitting only two poor drives all day, at the first and ninth holes.

He shrugged off a sore throat and chest congestion to compile six birdies and two bogeys, including a dropped shot for the second successive day at the par-four 18th.

The finish was disappointing for Scott, who notched up his first three-putt of the week when he lipped-out a five-footer, the shortest putt he has missed in two days.   Continued...

Adam Scott of Australia celebrates sinking a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round in the 2013 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 14, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble