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Hadley Takes Over Top Spot in Puerto Rico Open


Chesson Hadley carded a 5-under 67 to assume the 54-hole lead in the Puerto Rico Open. The $3.5 million PGA Tour event began Thursday at Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande.

Hadley, a 26-year-old from Raleigh in search of his first Tour victory, posted five birdies to reach 16-under 200, a stroke ahead of New Zealand's Danny Lee, who shot a 66, and two in front of Americans Jason Gore (66) and Jonathan Byrd (67).

Hadley earned his Tour card this year after winning the Web.com Tour Championship last fall. He had two victories on that developmental circuit in 2013, and is making only his 13th career start on the PGA Tour.

The three-time All-American at Georgia Tech noted that, even though he had a flawless score card, he thought he could've played better in another day with gusting winds. "It was frustrating, to be honest with you, even though I was playing well, just because I hit it so well today and I missed quite a few putts, a lot of putts the last 11 holes," Hadley said. "But you know what, we're right where we need to be. I'm leading and that's great.

"It's hard to be satisfied with how well I hit it, but we need to keep in perspective that we're leading and we're in a great spot for tomorrow."

Added Hadley of his game plan Sunday, "I'm going to go at just about every flag. You got to stay aggressive out here. I've learned that. For me, if I kind of take the foot off the pedal a little bit, I'll kind of lose focus and I won't be as sharp as I would like to be, so I plan on being really aggressive."

Tied for fifth at 13-under are Sweden's Carl Pettersson (66) and two American veterans, Jerry Kelly and David Toms, who each shot 67. Sharing eighth at 12-under are George McNeill and Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who each carded 68s.

Yet another stroke back are Americans Andrew Loupe (65), Richard H. Lee (68), Ricky Barnes (69), Ben Martin (70) and Wes Roach (70). In 15th at 10-under 206 are Canada's Brad Fritsch (67), Australian Steven Bowditch (67) and Americans Tim Petrovic (66), Ted Potter Jr. (65) and Eric Axley (72).

James Driscoll, who began Saturday with a stroke on the field off rounds of 69 and a course-record-tying 63 Friday, struggled in the third round. The 36-year-old Massachusetts native, a two-time Tour winner whose last victory came in the 2009 Valero Texas Open, had three bogeys for a 3-over 75 to drop into a tie for 20th at 9-under 207 with Americans Robert Streb (66), Jim Herman (68) and Ryan Sullivan (68). Also at that number are Sweden's Robert Karlsson (69), Canada's David Hearn (69) and England's Greg Owen (71).

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.