Pressure sensitivity kernels were recently applied to time-reversal acoustics in an attempt to explain the enhanced stability of the time-reversal focal spot [Raghukumar et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 124, 98-112 (2008)]. The theoretical framework developed was also used to derive optimized source functions, closely related to the inverse filter. The use of these optimized source functions results in an inverse filter-like focal spot which is more robust to medium sound speed fluctuations than both time-reversal and the inverse filter. In this paper the theory is applied to experimental data gathered during the Focused Acoustic Fields experiment, conducted in 2005, north of Elba Island in Italy. Sensitivity kernels are calculated using a range-independent sound-speed profile, for a geometry identical to that used in the experiment, and path sensitivities are identified with observed arrivals. The validity of the kernels in tracking time-evolving Green's functions is studied, along with limitations that result from a linearized analysis. An internal wave model is used to generate an ensemble of sound speed profiles, which are then used along with the calculated sensitivity kernels to derive optimized source functions. Focal spots obtained using the observed Green's functions with these optimized source functions are then compared to those obtained using time-reversal and the inverse-filter. It is shown that these functions are able to provide a focal spot superior to time-reversal while being more robust to sound speed fluctuations than the inverse filter or time-reversal.