Fasth finishes first round Friday, leads by two at Mallorca Classic

Updated: October 26, 2007, 9:40 AM ET
Associated Press

MALLORCA, Spain -- Defending champion Niclas Fasth completed a storm-interrupted five-under 65 to lead the first round of the Mallorca Classic on Friday.

The Swede picked up two more birdies on his return to the course following Thursday afternoon's weather delay to put him one shot ahead of South African Andrew McLardy and Irishman Gary Murphy, who finished their rounds on Thursday.

Irishman Peter Lawrie, Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen, Jean-Francois Lucquin of France and Briton Sam Little also share second place after completing rounds of 66 on Friday morning.

Fasth is still just in running to win Europe's order of merit but conceded it was now a longshot.

"Three weeks ago I had hopes," Fasth, who is fifth on the money list, told reporters. "But I have failed to win a second tournament and I have a lot of catching up to do."

Victory this week and second place in next week's season-ending Volvo Masters would give Fasth a chance to be European No. 1.

Last year he finished fifth at the Valderrama finale.

After a 45-minute break, Fasth began his second round.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press