Matt Every wins at Bay Hill

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What Happened

Adam Scott entered the day with a three-shot lead over Keegan Bradley, and right from the very beginning of the round, it looked like the reigning Masters champion just didn’t have it. Bradley didn’t either though, and that combination opened the door for a couple of players, but it quickly became apparent that it was down to one of those in the final group and Matt Every.

When Scott really started to struggle, Every jumped out to a three-shot lead, but looked to be in trouble on the par-5 16th. After pushing his drive right and into the trees, he attempted to advance his ball but ended up directly behind another tree. He would eventually bogey, opening the door for Scott and Bradley, who both hit great approaches into the green, setting up eagle chances. They missed those putts, but Bradley would tap in for his birdie after Scott somehow missed the short one coming back. Every meanwhile, went to the 17th tee and sent his ball into the greenside bunker, but it wasn’t much of an issue:

every bunker

Another bogey by Scott on 17 would put him out of it, while Bradley birdied to give him a chance, but it didn’t end up making a difference. Even though Every would go on to bogey the 18th, he still had a one-shot cushion and when Bradley’s birdie putt didn’t drop, Every had his first career PGA Tour win.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Matt Every -13
  • 2. Keegan Bradley -12
  • 3. Adam Scott -11
  • 4. Jason Kokrak -10
  • T5. Henrik Stenson -9
  • T5. Francesco Molinari -9
  • T5. Erik Compton -9

What The Win Means For Every

At this point, you should all know what a big deal it is for someone to get their first PGA Tour win, so I won’t bore you with that stuff, but there are a lot of perks that comes with this win. The biggest one is probably that he gets to go to Augusta in a couple of weeks for the first time, but he also gets to keep his tour card for the next two seasons, plus the $1.1 million payday isn’t too bad either, along with his move to 44th in the Official World Golf Rankings. He also showed that he has a sense of humour after the round was over:

The other thing that this does is it may make him known for more than his suspension for marijuana a few years ago, and his subsequent interview with Kelly Tilghman that still ranks as one of the most awkward TV exchanges that I’ve ever seen.

What The Loss Means For Scott

I’m not going to read too much into what happened on Sunday for Scott, who just never really looked comfortable at all, and was certainly nowhere near the guy that we saw when he fired a 62 in Thursday’s opening round. Yeah, he had a chance to grab the number one spot in the World Rankings, but I have a hard time believing that the possibility of that is what caused this to happen, and despite what was suggested by some on Sky Sports, this loss does not come close to the disappointment he felt after Lytham in 2012. He’s going to be fine, and this should have no bearing on your opinions of him as he heads to Augusta to defend his Masters crown.

Tiger’s Bulging Disc

Obviously the big story early in the week was Tiger pulling out of the tournament, telling Arnold Palmer that the back just wasn’t ready to go yet and that he needed to prepare for the Masters. Then came the story by Jeff Rude for Golfweek that Tiger actually has a bulging disc in his back that won’t require surgery, but is obviously still cause for concern.

We’ve gone over this before, but I think it bears repeating that while Tiger should obviously be concerned, it’s probably still not time to panic just yet. He’s shown that when he’s healthy this season, he’s still probably the best player in the world, which is far from a guarantee at this point in his career, but staying at home and resting is probably what’s best at this point.

Also, we don’t really know how bad the injury is, but I’d be willing to bet that if it was the Masters this week, Tiger would have played. Still fully expecting to see him in a few weeks at Augusta.

Bubba’s WD

Scott’s 62 on Thursday was a big deal, but Bubba Watson withdrawing after firing an 83 and citing allergy problems, had people questioning whether the 2012 Masters champ was actually having problems or if it was more related to that awful 83. I’m usually not one to stick up for Watson, mostly because I’ve grown tired of his antics on the course, but I thought I’d heard this before from Watson, so I looked it up:

Does he withdraw if he shoots 73? Who knows, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt this time.

Other Notes

  • Notables to miss the cut: Angel Cabrera, Nicolas Colsaerts, Rickie Fowler, Russell Henley, Justin Rose, David Duval, Boo Weekley, Scott Stallings, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
  • Other notable finishes: Brandt Snedeker and Ryo Ishikawa (T8), Graeme McDowell (T10), Ian Poulter (T20), Zach Johnson, Jamie Donaldson and Billy Horschel (T43), Patrick Reed (T52), Ryan Moore, Chris Kirk and Paul Casey (T60)
  • Injury report:
  1. Bubba Watson: WD – allergies caused this as mentioned above.
  2. Hunter Mahan: WD – cited a hip injury early in Sunday’s final round. Currently scheduled to play in Houston in two weeks.
  3. Jeff Overton: WD – pulled out in the second round with a wrist injury, although he didn’t say which wrist was giving him the trouble. If he’s healthy, he’ll play next week in Texas.
  4. Rory Sabbatini – WD – also pulled out in the second round, citing a pinched nerve in his neck. It’s probably related to the problems we saw last week at the Valspar.
  • Apparently Kevin Na got heckled pretty badly through the first two days of the tournament over slow play. It’s more than obvious that he shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of nonsense, even if he’s moving a little slow. I also think it’s funny how he’s referred to as a slow player, but everyone just kinda laughs off the way Keegan plays because it looks weird and quirky. Slow is slow.
  • Adam Scott’s anchored putter certainly didn’t look like it gave him an edge on Sunday, did it? Still think that ban is ridiculous.
  • Lastly, let’s never forget that Bay Hill and Arnold Palmer are absolutely tremendous. Consistently one of the best tournaments of the year, majors included, and there’s always drama. Incredible stuff.
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