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Couples fires opening round 63 to take lead

Fred Couples shot a course-record 9-under 63 to take the first-round lead at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

Couples was 3 under through 12 holes on Friday before his round was ended due to darkness. He birdied his final six holes early Saturday morning to push past Tom Pernice Jr., who is one stroke back.

Course conditions were nearly perfect for low scores after soaking rains at Fallen Oak earlier in the week pushed the opening round tee times back more than four hours. Pernice said on Friday that the soft greens were allowing very aggressive shots.

Couples had 10 birdies and one bogey in his first round.

The second round is scheduled to begin at 11:30 p.m. local time.