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Swede Noren moves one ahead at Scottish Open

Alex Noren hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the continuation of the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Noren hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the continuation of the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

LONDON (Reuters) - Swede Alex Noren took advantage of relatively calm conditions to fire a six-under-par 66 and claim a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Scottish Open at Inverness on Friday.

The 33-year-old, a four-times winner on the European Tour, birdied five of his last eight holes to cap a bogey-free display and post an eight-under total of 136 at the warmup event for next week's British Open at Royal Troon.

New Zealand's Danny Lee (66) and Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67) were on seven-under, a stroke better than Italy's Matteo Manassero (67), England's Richard Bland (68), South African Branden Grace (67) and Spaniard Jorge Campillo (66).

"I really like this place, it's such a fun course to play," Noren told reporters at Castle Stuart. "There are a few very tricky holes and then a few holes where you can be a lot more aggressive.

"Some weeks we play courses which are tough from the first hole to the 18th but here it's a really nice mix so I like it a lot."

Triple major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland (69) was on five-under while American Phil Mickelson, a regular visitor to the Scottish Open, followed his opening 76 with a 69 to lie nine strokes off the pace.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Andrew Both)

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