Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Matt Every earns first PGA Tour title

ORLANDO — Matt Every won at last on the PGA Tour, and he's still not sure how it happened.

He was nine shots behind Masters champion Adam Scott going into the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He was four back of the Australian he called a "stud" going into Sunday's final round at Bay Hill.

Every, a four-time All-American at Florida from 2003-06 and a Daytona Beach native, figured par over the last three holes would win. He made two bogeys.

Even after a hearty handshake from the tournament host and receiving a shiny trophy, Every struggled to sum it up.

"I … I … I can't believe I won," he said. "I just … I really can't."

The tee shot that he feared might be out of bounds on No. 9 instead bounced along a cart path and led to an unlikely birdie. He surged to a three-shot lead when Scott's touch with the putter vanished. Even after missing a 4-foot par putt on No. 18, Every closed with 2-under 70 for a 13-under 275 total.

Keegan Bradley, who birdied the 16th and 17th holes, had a 30-foot birdie on No. 18 to force a playoff but missed. He finished one shot back after 72. Scott shot 76 and was third, two shots back.

Every, 30, came to Bay Hill as a kid to watch the tournament. And he beat Masters champion Scott to earn a spot in the Masters next month.

"I don't see how it could get much better than this — being so close to where I grew up and all the fans out there that were cheering me on," Every said. "It was awesome."

Scott led by seven after 36 holes and led Bradley by three going into Sunday.

"I'm annoyed that I didn't do better (Sunday)," Scott said. "I'm taking confidence anyway, from just some good play. But some opportunities you've got to take."

LPGA: Karrie Webb shot a course record 9-under 63, then hung on as several players tried to catch her at the JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix. Webb, 39, earned her second victory this season. The Hall of Famer shot 6-under 30 on the back nine and birdied five of the last six holes to finish the tournament at 19-under 269. Third-round leader Lydia Ko (70) parred the final three holes, missing a 25-footer on No. 18, to finish a stroke back along with 2013 winner Stacy Lewis (66), Azahara Munoz (67), Amy Yang (67) and Mirim Lee (69).

Champions: Jeff Maggert became the 17th player to win his debut on the 50-and-over tour, making a 50-foot birdie on No. 17 and shooting 4-under 68 in the final round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Saucier. Maggert, who turned 50 on Feb. 20, totaled 11-under 205 to beat Billy Andrade (71) by two strokes.

Hall of Fame: The World Golf Hall of Fame is changing its criteria, voting process and timing of player inductions. Instead of a panel of media, dignitaries and Hall of Fame members, a 16-person panel will vote. The next induction will be May 2015.