PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Player Of The Year? There is no official award on the Golf Channel Am Tour, but if there was, Jeff True (right) would probably be the guy.
True, 65 from Naples, Florida capped a tremendous 2012 campaign with a one-shot victory in the event's most competitive flight, the Sr. Palmer (handicaps 4.0-7.9).
True finally has his first Am Tour Nationals trophy to go along with four major championships this year. He certainly earned it. The Palmer flight was extremely tight coming into the final round. Not only that, playing in the final group, it came down to the wire with Bill Foley. True's 10-foot par save on the final hole for a final round 75 sealed the deal, but admits he wasn't sure if it'd be enough.
'We didn't know how the rest (of the field) was doing,' he said. 'All we knew is we had seven guys within about two shots. So somebody could have gotten hot below us.'
In the end, the difference may have been True's preparation tactics. While many of this week's competitors showed up a day or two early to play practice rounds (many playing 36 holes two days in a row before the first round), True took a different approach. He came the week before to play three practice rounds, then took two days off before the tournament began.
'I didn't really play the two days before the tournament because I didn't want to beat myself up,' he said. 'Guys get here, and they play two or three practice rounds the day or two before the event and it takes it out of you.'
Hanging on at the Stadium Course in the Sr. Jones flight
Along with the Championship flight, the Sr. Jones flight (16.0-19.9 handicaps) staged its final round on the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
Daniel Henris, a retired Marine from Havelock, North Carolina, played defensively and it paid off, winning the 92-person field. Henris held off Craig King and Vincent Sarro to win by one shot. That included surviving the island green 17th with a par and managing a bogey on the hazard-laden 18th.
'The nerves crept in quite a bit all the way around,' said Henris. 'I thought, 'try to keep it to bogey, you'll throw in a couple pars, and you'll be around a 90 so you'll be okay.''
Henris, who is enjoying his first full season on the Am Tour, said he took up the game after he retired from the Marines twenty years ago.
'I went out and got hooked, I've just been trying to play and improve ever since.'