Matt Every wins first US PGA tour title at Arnold Palmer Invitational
Matt Every overcame the dominating presence of Masters champion Adam Scott to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida – also recording his first victory on the US PGA Tour in the process.
Florida native Every fired a final round 70 to win his maiden title by a single stroke as Australian Scott saw his hopes fade with a third-placed finish.
Scott, 33, began the day two shots clear and knew that success would also make his boyhood dream of becoming world number one a reality. However, with Scott set to defend his Masters title next month, he was unable to stave off a determined Every, eventually slipping out of contention with 76.
That left Keegan Bradley as front runner to claim the trophy, but a resilient Every would not let his lead slip and held on for the emotional victory.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson shot a final round of 68 to finish joint-top European alongside Italian Francesco Molinari.
The game looked to be Scott’s to lose as he led the tournament by seven shots at the halfway point. Unable to maintain the bright form of the first two days, however, he soon found himself sliding towards defeat.
Knowing that victory at Bay Hill would send him to the Masters as world number one, the increased pressure was both a blessing and a curse for the Australian as he at times surged through the course with confidence and at other times appeared almost lost under the stark test of reaching the world rankings summit.
And perhaps it wasn’t Scott who offered the most daunting of tasks to Every, as former US PGA Champion Bradley showed great resistance at keeping Scott at arm’s length while also chasing the lead. Bradley dropped early shots which would count against him as Every mounted the decisive charge with four birdies in five holes around the turn taking him clear.
He dropped shots at the 16th and 18th but with Scott three-putting the 16th, Every managed to hold off a late revival from Bradley and collect the trophy from Palmer and a cheque for £677,523 ($1.116,000).
After the game, Every said: "It was tough. You just never know if it's going to happen. You get there so many times, it's nice to get it done."