After his victory Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Matt Every joked that he “definitely” wasn’t in the top five in the world right now, a nod to Patrick Reed.
“Probably top 70,” he said, laughing.
Hey, he’s better than that.
With his maiden title at Bay Hill, Every moved from 94th to a career-best 44th in the latest rankings, released Monday. He ended last year at No. 133.
Every, 30, only recently jumped into the top 100 for the first time in his career after four consecutive top 25s, including a T-8 in Tampa.
Adam Scott, who held a seven-shot lead with 36 holes to play, squandered an opportunity to win and move to world No. 1. His third-place finish ensures that he will not be able to reach that position by the time the first major of the year rolls around.
However, there now exists the possibility that Henrik Stenson, currently No. 3, could become No. 1 if he wins next week in Houston. Stenson needs to earn 53 points that week to ascend to the top spot. Last year, the Houston winner received 56 points.
Other notable moves last week included Keegan Bradley, whose runner-up finish vaulted him from No. 28 to No. 18, and Jason Kokrak, who broke into the top 100 (to No. 97) with his fourth-place finish.
Puerto Rico winner Chesson Hadley could have locked up a Masters berth with a top-6 finish at Bay Hill, but he closed with 79 and dropped all the way to T-26. As a result, he moved up only three spots in the world ranking, to No. 56, meaning he’ll have to play well this week in San Antonio to punch his ticket to Augusta.
Here’s the top 10 in the world after the Florida swing: Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia (from No. 9), Dustin Johnson (from No. 8) and Zach Johnson.