Every rallies for first win at Bay Hill
Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Every rallied with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to come from behind and win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Every, who was nine strokes off the pace after 36 holes, finished at 13-under- par 275 for his first PGA Tour title. The 30-year-old held on despite two bogeys in the last three holes at Bay Hill.
"It's hard. It's tough man, you just never know if it's going to happen," Every explained. "You get there so many times, it's nice to get it done. I've had a ton of looks. I kept telling myself it's going to be somewhere special. and this is really cool."
Keegan Bradley narrowly missed a birdie putt on the final green that would have forced a playoff. He birdied 16 and 17 to post even-par 72 and ended one back at minus-12.
Adam Scott, who led since early on Thursday when he opened with a 62, struggled to a 4-over 76 that left him in third place at 11-under 277.
Jason Kokrak stumbled to a 1-over 73 to slip into fourth place at minus-10.
For the second straight round, Scott struggled out of the gate. He bogeyed the first and third, before making a 4-foot birdie putt on the fourth. He was two clear of Every at that point, as Every birdied the fourth to go with six pars over his first seven holes.
Scott failed to save par from a greenside bunker on the seventh, and his lead was down to one over Every and his playing partner, Kokrak.
Every tripped to a bogey on No. 8, but came back with a 15-foot birdie putt on the ninth to get back within one of Scott. That also was the start of a hot stretch for Every.
Around the turn, Every poured in a 20-footer for birdie on the 10th to gain a share of the lead. Every later birdied the 12th and 13th, from eight and 13 feet out, respectively.
Suddenly, Every led by two and as he parred the next two holes, his margin grew to three as Scott bogeyed the par-3 14th after six pars in a row.
However, Every opened the door for the field at the par-5 16th. He drove into the right trees and his punch out attempt stopped in the rough. Every played his third into the fairway, then dumped his fourth 25 feet from the hole.
He 2-putted for bogey there, and his lead was down to two over Scott. Every missed the 18th green with his approach, but chipped to five feet. He missed the putt and tapped in for bogey, and his lead was down to one.
"I was pretty focused. I really was," Every stated. "I hit a lot good shots. Seventeen was perfect. It was right on line. I took a conservative line and smoked it, but I guess I had the wind a little wrong. Then on 18, the same exact thing. I couldn't have hit that ball any better on the line I was aiming."
Bradley, who was 2-over par on the day after 12 holes, birdied 16 and 17 to move back into contention. He knocked his approach into the middle of the green at the 18th, and needed to convert his 29-foot birdie putt or the tournament was over.
The 2011 PGA Champion narrowly missed the putt and Every was victorious.
Scott also bogeyed the 17th to end two back.
NOTES: Every earned $1.116 million for the victory. This was his first PGA Tour win in his 93rd tour start ... In his four previous starts at this event, Every had finished no better than tied for 24th and had just one round in the 60s. He had two such rounds this week ... Scott drops to 6-4 when holding at least a piece of the 54-hole lead ... Hunter Mahan withdrew on the second hole with a back problem ... The tour heads to San Antonio next week for the Valero Texas Open, where Martin Laird fired a 63 in the final round last year to overtake Rory McIlroy and win for the first time on the PGA Tour.
03/23 20:23:06 ET