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.”

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