Flawless Harwood leads in Cannes

9/22/2011 11:30:27 AM
 Mike Harwood   (Getty Images)
Mike Harwood (Getty Images)

Australian Mike Harwood fired a six under par round of 66 to set the early clubhouse lead in the opening round of the Cannes Mougins Masters in France.

The 52 year old carded four birdies and an eagle three on the eighth hole when he holed from just off the green but admits his round could have been  even better had his putter been hot.

Harwood finished tied seventh in the Casa Serena Open last week when he struggled on the greens and similar problems affected his round again at Cannes Mougins.

“I played very nicely today – I missed four putts from three feet, which shows I played exceptional tee to green,” said Harwood.

“It was disappointing to miss those putts but my iron play was great today. I never hit a bad shot all day and it is a long time since I could say that. It’s been coming though. I putted terribly last week and started off the same way but I hit the ball so well that I had a couple of tap ins which made it easy.

“I haven’t played nicely for a while so it is nice to. I’ve made a couple of little swing changes and they are starting to come together. I’m feeling more confident. I don’t feel like I’m going to do something steady. I’ve been that all year and I just need to put myself in there.”

Despite his flawless opening round, Harwood actually feels as though the Cannes Mougins course does not suit his game, having played several times in the Cannes Open on The European Tour in the 1980s and 1990s.

“It’s a lot different now but this course doesn’t suit me,” he said. I’m a left-to-righter and the holes are all right to left, which puts me under pressure. It shows my iron play was exceptional today.

“There was no wind today which helped and hopefully it will stay like this.”

Harwood’s playing partner Des Smyth of Ireland also eagled the eighth hole en route to a 69 to lie three shots behind Harwood.