2016 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championship at Innisbrook Resort & Club

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 13, 2016, 3:35 am

The 2016 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships are underway at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor., Fla. Over the course of two weeks, 1,157 competitors from around the country will compete over four rounds in six flighted divisions. 

Throughout the 2016 season, golfers competed on GC Am Tour local tours as well as in major championships, and those who placed highest earned the right to compete in the 2016 National Championship. Over the course of four days, competitors will take on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course, annual host of the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship, as well as the resort's Island and North Course. Rounding out the foursome is nearby Fox Hollow Golf Club. 33 past national champions will be competing over the course of the championships.

Check back in to Golf Central daily for photos and news from the action. You can also view full leaderboards here

2016 Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship Coverage

Opening night: Joined by School of Golf's Martin Hall, golfers arrived at Innisbrook Resort & Club for the Am Tour Senior National Championships welcome dinner and prepared for their rounds. 

In Photos: Check out our running photo gallery of the Am Tour Senior National Championships. 

Keys to success: Contenders share their secrets for competing in deep fields on the national stage.

Senior competitors prepare for and embrace four rounds of golf at NationalsFor most of the nearly 600 competitors this will have been their only four-round tournament of the year, maybe even their lives, if this is the only time they play in Nationals. Some prepare beforehand, while others try to pace themselves while they're here. And it's not only physical, but mental as well. It's hard to keep the proper level of focus for four straight days.

Texas' Terry Rice survives the Snakepit to win Senior National Championship Flight: A year ago this time, Terry Rice was preparing for back surgery. The pain after every round of golf had become unbearable. This year, Rice is feeling a whole lot better, thanks in large part to successful back surgery and the euphoria of winning his first national championship in the Golf Channel Am Tour Championship flight.

Smart bogey one of the keys for Arizona's Ham in winning Palmer title: Tony Ham of Mesa, Ariz., celebrated his 57th birthday a day late by posting his best round of the week on Thursday to come from behind to win the Palmer Flight in the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship.

Florida's Johnson wins Senior Hogan in sudden death: Gene Johnson played steady all week, but it was a couple of exciting moments at the end that proved to be the difference in earning him his first Golf Channel Am Tour National Championship title.

Leadbetter plays mental game to win Senior Jones: For Richard Leadbetter of Chilliothe, Ill., winning the Jones Flight (16-19.9 handicap) was more about the mental process than it was the swing. After opening with a 95 on the Island Course, Leadbetter settled down to shoot 83, 88, 84, with the last score coming on the difficult Copperhead Course.

Michigan's Fox joins the fraternity by winning Senior Snead: Eric Fox is part of a group called the Three Musketeers, three friends that met on the Golf Channel Am Tour in Michigan in 2007. Since then, the group has traveled together to tournaments, including the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior Nationals.

Lousiana's White steadies play to win Senior SarazenIn the Senior Sarazen Flight (12-15.9 handicap) of the Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships, Walter White's steady play all week earned him his first national title.

2016 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championship Coverage

Opening Day: Am Tour Nationals return to the east coast for the first time since 2013. Here are some more facts and figures about the 2016 event at Innisbrook. 

Photos from Day 1: View photos of competitors from the action at Innisbrook Resort & Club 

Busy schedules pay dividendsIn 2016, many of the golfers like Jonny Lee and Scott Striegel who competed in the largest amount of events, saw great improvement in their games. 

Babineaux, Figgins enjoy new competitionIn what has become an annual tradition of sorts at the Golf Channel Am Tour National Championship, we ran into some ex-pro athletes you likely know well, having hung up the spikes on the big stage to now compete in amateur golf.

Family matters at National Championship: Each year, a handful of families make the trip to Nationals together to compete. Sometimes, they even find themselves competing against one another in the same flight. 

Father & Son make history: It was a storybook ending for both Rick Burton and his son John at this year's Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships at Innisbrook Resort. For dad, it was the pursuit of a repeat, while for the son it was all about redemption.

Hogan flight fireworks: Evidently, we should all learn a thing or two fromPeter Goulish, who won the Hogan flight (8.0-11.9) with a blistering 71 at Fox Hollow Golf Club in the final round of the National Championship to shock the field and win by three shots.

Championship, Palmer flights crowned: The two lowest-handicap flights at Am Tour Nationals, the Championship and Palmer, came down to the wire at Innisbrook. In the end, these two players prevailed. 

Campbell reels in title: With his ailing father on the bag, Cory Campbell came through in the clutch to win the Snead flight at Innisbrook Resort & Club in an emotional finish. 

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.