Thanks to a birdie on the 72nd hole, Matt Every fired a 6-under 66 to chase down Henrik Stenson and win the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the second year in a row. Here’s what went down in the final round at Bay Hill:
What it means: The win is the second of Every’s career and, of course, his second at the API, following his victory last year. He is just the third man to win in back-to-back years at Bay Hill, joining Loren Roberts (1994-95) and Tiger Woods (2000-03; ’08-09; ’12-13). The 31-year-old journeyman took a while to win his first Tour event and, thereafter, struggled to follow it up. In between API victories, he posted just one top-10 finish and failed to complete 11 of 26 events, via a combination of withdraws, disqualifications and missed cuts. His best finish on Tour this season was a T-27 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, a no-cut event with a total field of 33 players. In two years, Every has collected $2.25 million at Arnie’s place.
Round of the day: Three back to start the final round, Every dropped a shot on his opening hole and then didn't drop another the rest of the round. He rattled off four birdies in six holes from Nos. 3-8 to make the turn in 3 under, followed it up with two more on Nos. 10 and 11 and then capped off the round with a 17-footer for birdie on the 18th green to win by one.
Best of the rest: Zach Johnson tied Every for the low round of day with by far the most colorful card of the day. ZJ made seven birdies, seven pars, two bogeys, a double bogey, and a double eagle - the second albatross in as many days at Bay Hill - en route to a 66.
Biggest disappointment: Stenson started the day with a two-shot lead and led by one with four holes to go before giving it away. Back-to-back three-putts on Nos. 15 and 16 resulted in a bogey and a par and cost him the chance to force a playoff, leaving him one shot shy of Every. It was ultimately the putter that fell Stenson on Sunday; after leading the field in strokes-gained putting over his first three rounds, he finished dead last in the category in the final round. His failure extends a nine-event streak on Tour where the 54-hole leader or leaders have failed to win.
Shot of the day: Johnson wins for his albatross at 16 from 206 yards, but honorable mention goes to Camilo Villegas, who made an improbable birdie on 18 by playing under a tree and over the lake to the back bunker, where he pitched in for three.
Quote of the day: "I kind of had a feeling, man. That [downhill] putt on 18 is exactly what you want under pressure." - Every