Monday wrap up

Congratulations to Jeff Maggert, who was crowned the US Senior Open Champion on Sunday.  Amateur Mike McCoy finished in 26th place and was low amateur for the second year in a row.

Mike Finster finished second among the three amateurs who  made the cut.  Mike was third in driving distance for the week and made one of  just 11 eagles that were carded.  Mike’s 69 on Friday was the low amateur score for the week, matched Sunday by McCoy.

A few more pictures from the week


Caddie Mike “English Mike” Copelin


Friday night waiting for the final cut–6 hours in limbo . . .





Check out how how deep the rough was.  Explains the 79 Saturday . . .

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Sunday after the golf

As an anniversary surprise, some friends arranged for the Finsters to say at the Ritz at Half Moon bay Sunday night.  So just a few  hours after Jeff Maggert was crowned champion of the US Senior Open, the Finsters were relaxing along the Pacific Ocean.




Meanwhile, back in St. Pete little Joseph was working on  his game–hoping next time they’ll take him along.   The Finster golfing future is in excellent hands.


Sunday Final

Mike carded a three over par 73 on Sunday, finishing 17 over par–least, but not last, as fellow amateur Dave Ryan (whose bogey on 18 Friday kept Mike and others in the tournament) finished at plus 20.  Here’s the hearty gallery, who stuck with it for four days:IMG_1004


And the happy couple



Mike Finster interviewed by USGA

From the USGA Website after Saturday’s round:

Amateur Finster Meeting Several Goals
Amateur Mike Finster, 50, of St. Petersburg, Fla., met two of his goals in this week’s U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club. The first was merely earning a spot in the field, which he did via sectional qualifying. The second was making the cut, and he did that with rounds of 76 and 69 to land on the number of 5-over 145.

He gave himself a new goal when the third round began – low amateur.

“I guess I got a little ambitious there, but that’s what I was playing for today,” Finster said after carding a third-round 79. “The conditions got a lot tougher and my nerves got to me a little bit. This course exposes your weaknesses. Today was certainly a struggle.”

Finster fell to 72nd at 14-over 224, but he still will be leaving with good memories no matter what he shoots on Sunday. He led the field in driving distance the first two days, and was ranked second behind Grant Waite after three rounds with an average poke of 305.33 yards. That power came in handy on Friday when scored an eagle on the fourth hole. A good drive and a hybrid set up a 22-footer on the long par 5, and he drained the putt.

“Our goal was to make one lifetime memory, and I did that with the eagle,” he said, beaming. “My brother has it on videotape. We’ll be cherishing that for many years.”

Finster also was proud of the 5-foot par putt he made on the ninth hole, his final of the day. It enabled him to salvage a sub-80 round.

“I was very grateful to be here, but I didn’t want to shoot a snowman,” he said. “Sometimes, golf is a microcosm of life. It’s how you deal with adversity. You don’t want to shoot 80, not in front of family and friends. Making that putt felt very good. The fact that a roofing salesman is playing on the weekend in a major … I feel truly blessed.”

Early Sunday morning at the US Senior Open




Ah.  The first tee time.  Morning light filters through the distant trees, lawn mowers playing the song of dawn.  Wet feet and the smell of fresh grass.  Putt lines on moistened greens.  Nothing like it.

In this case, it means Mike’s in last place on Sunday.  Though last place at a USGA major championship is not half bad.  I’m sure we’d all like to be there, smelling the grass and warming up, below . . .


Happy Anniversary to Mike and Marybeth Finster!

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first.  Today is Mike and Marybeth’s wedding anniversary.  So this magical, miracle, wonderful couple will celebrate together, though separated by the ropes of competition early in the day.  I’m sure we all wish them the best and many more years–and many more walks down whatever life throws at them, whether fairway or rough.  You guys are an inspiration to us all.

VERY early Sunday morning, with caddie Mike


Mike Finster Facebook congrats

Here are some congrats and comments from friends via Facebook: