It’s not all sunshine and roses in Tampa, Florida, this week. Scoring has been hard to come by at Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club, home of the 2023 Golfweek Senior Player of the Year Classic.
One man, however, has been able to piece things together enough to lead not just his age division, but also the entire field.
Mike Finster paced the field for the second straight day following his opening round 71 with a 1-over 73, good for an even-par score through 36 holes. The St. Petersburg native has held steady throughout the week despite unusual Florida weather and tough course conditions.
Finster holds a three-shot lead over Georgia’s Danny Nelson, while last year’s Golfweek Player of the Year, Rusty Strawn, lurks in solo third at 4 over.
Through 36 holes, Super Senior co-leaders Steve Humphrey and Mike Poe still have not separated from each other, both at 8 over. First round Super Senior leader Marcus Beck slid back into solo second with a 6-over 78 on Tuesday. At 9 over, he sits one shot behind Humphrey and Poe and will be the primary contender for the co-leaders.
Reigning Golfweek Legend Player of the Year, Don Donatoni looks to pick up 2023 right where he left off 2022. A second round 75 moved the Pennsylvania native past round one leader Bev Hargraves and sets Donatoni up for an early season victory.
At 8 over for the week, Donatoni leads Hargraves and Florida’s Don Russell by three strokes.William Everett has a puncher’s chance, as he played himself into the final foursome with a second-round 76. He remains four back at 12 over.
In the Super Legend division, it’s still anyone’s race.
Ohio’s Gene Bingman continues to pace the field, following his opening 80 with a second round 82. However, with just two shots ahead of the field, a slew of contenders await a chance to move up the leaderboard Wednesday. Led by Jack Marin and Dan Nicholson at 20 over, there are five golfers within seven shots of Bingham.
With more of the same scoring conditions coming for Wednesday’s final round, a more than solid round of golf will be needed to overtake any leader.