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.
2016 Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship Coverage
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 Nationals: For 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 Sarazen: In 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 dividends: In 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 competition: In 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.