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.
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.