Golf: Matt Every wins Arnold Palmer Invitational
The Associated PressFirst published Mar 23 2014 07:09PM
Orlando, Fla. • Matt Every is finally a winner on the PGA Tour, and he’s still not sure how it happened.
He was nine shots behind Masters champion Adam Scott going into the weekend at Bay Hill. He was still four back of the Australian he referred to as a "stud" going into the final round Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Every figured even par over the last three holes would do the trick. He made two bogeys.
Even after a hearty handshake from the tournament host and a shiny trophy an arm’s length away from, Every summed up this wild day with just the right words.
"I ... I ... I can’t believe I won," he said. "I just ... I really can’t."
The tee shot that he feared might be out-of-bounds on No. 9 somehow bounced along a cart path and led to an unlikely birdie. He surged to a three-shot lead when Scott’s touch with the putter vanished. Even with two bogeys on the last three holes — he missed a 4-foot par putt on the 18th — Every still closed with a 2-under 70.
The last bogey made him sweat out the finish. Keegan Bradley, who birdied the 16th and 17th holes, had a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have forced a playoff.
Every finished at 13-under 275, one shot ahead of Bradley, who needed two late birdies for a 72. Scott was third.
In his 92nd start as a pro on the PGA Tour, Every finally won at just the right time and just the right place.
The 30-year-old, who grew up 90 minutes away in Daytona Beach, used to come to Bay Hill as a kid to watch the tournament.
Jeff Maggert became the 17th player in Champions Tour history to win in his debut, shooting a 4-under 68 at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak in Saucier, Miss.
Maggert sunk a 50-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole on the way to two-shot victory over Billy Andrade.
In Phoenix, Karrie Webb flew up the leaderboard with a course-record 9-under 63 to win the JTBC Founders Cup at Desert Ridge.
Third-round leader Lydia Ko finished a stroke back along with 2013 winner Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz, Amy Yang and Mirim Lee.