Originally created 03/20/00

Fasth wins Madeira Open



MADEIRA, Spain -- Niclas Fasth shot a 1-over-par 73 to complete a wire-to-wire performance in the Madeira Island Open and win by two strokes Sunday for the first victory of his European tour career.

Holding a two-shot entering the final round of the $535,000 tournament, the 27-year-old Swede held off compatriot Richard S. Johnson, Englishman Mark Davis and Scotsman Ross Drummond. Johnson had a 69, and Davis and Drummond 67s.

Fasth collected $88,000 after finishing 9-under at 279 on the 6,732-yard Santo da Serra course.

Most of Europe's top players skipped the event to play in the U.S. and prepare for The Players Championship.

" It was my week and it will be again, " Fasth said. " I played solid all week. Today I hardly missed a green. After years working on basics, I've got my career going now. And I've got big plans."

England's Jim Payne posed the most serious threat to Fasth when he moved within a shot of the lead after a third-hole birdie. But Payne dropped five shots in three holes to fall out of contention and wound up with a 78 that left him seven shots behind.