Matt Every always believed he would finally win on the PGA Tour. He couldn’t have imagined it happening Sunday at Bay Hill.
Nine shots out of the lead going into the weekend, still four shots behind Adam Scott going into the final round, Every took advantage of a surprising collapse by the Masters champion and held on for a 2-under 70 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
Every made two bogeys in the last three holes, including a 4-foot par putt he missed on the 18th hole. That forced him to wait 10 excruciating minutes to see if Keegan Bradley could force a playoff. Bradley’s 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole missed on the left side.
Every choked back tears when he realized he had won in his 92nd try as a professional.
“It’s hard,” he said, stopping to compose himself. “It’s nice to get it done.”
Scott came undone. Along with two quick bogeys to start his round, he didn’t make a birdie over the final 14 holes. He closed with a 76 to finish third.
Every finished at 13-under 275, one shot ahead of Bradley, who fired a 72.
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.
Billy Andrade, who started the day tied with Fred Funk for the lead, shot a 71 to finish in second two strokes back.
Maggert finished the tournament with an 11-under 205.
Karrie Webb flew up the leaderboard with a course-record 9-under 63, then waited about 90 minutes to see if anyone could catch her in the JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix.
No one could, giving the 39-year-old Australian her second victory of the season and second in four years at Desert Ridge.
Third-round leader Lydia Ko finished a stroke back along with Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz, Amy Yang and Mirim Lee.
Hall of Fame
The World Golf Hall of Fame is changing the criteria, voting process and timing of player inductions. No one has been elected this year while the criteria went through an overhaul. The next induction will be May 2015.
Officials have eliminated the PGA Tour and International ballots for men. Instead, the four categories will be for men, women, veterans and lifetime achievement. Active players must have 15 wins on major tours or two majors.
The biggest change is the voting. Instead of a panel of media, golf dignitaries and Hall of Famers, a 16-person panel will do the voting. The majority of that panel is golf administrators, along with three golf writers and four Hall of Famers.