Matt Every joins Tommy Two-Gloves Gainey and became the second “Big Break” star to win on the PGA Tour at The Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday afternoon. The brash, cocky University of Florida star was reduced to tears during his post-round interview after winning his first PGA tournament at “The King’s” place.
What the 30 year-old from Daytona found out at Bay Hill, was it’s not easy to get that first win. It took overcoming a big mistake at the reachable par 5 16th hole, a near chip-in bunker shot at 17, and a bogey at the iconic finishing hole to get his first win on the PGA Tour. He was able to get in the club-house with a one-stroke win over a hard-charging Keegan Bradley.
“It’s hard,” an emotional Every said after a final-round, 2-under 70 gave him a one-shot victory at Bay Hill and the first of his career on the PGA TOUR. “It’s tough, man. You just never know if it’s going to happen. You get there so many times. It’s nice to get it done.”
I can’t believe I won,” said the 30-year-old Every, who earned 500 FedExCup points and a spot in the Masters for the first time. “Being close to winning out here, I mean it can be kind of discouraging because if you don’t win you just wonder if it’s ever going to happen.
“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. It was awesome.”
Anyone who reads my blogs knows I love it when a new guy wins a big tournament. Matt Every’s life was forever changed when he received the beautiful trophy from Arnold Palmer on Sunday evening. He won more money in this event as he has won in any year since coming onto the tour, and the best thing, he will get an invitation from the folks at Augusta.
Keegan Bradley didn’t make it easy for the youngster. A birdie at 18 would force a playoff. The 2011 PGA Champ birdied his way through the three finishing holes on Saturday, and almost pulled it off again on Sunday. His birdie putt at 18 was close, but he couldn’t pull off a Tiger Woods miracle.
“I remember watching his breaking in there really hard,” said Bradley, who missed his on the high side of the hole. “It looked about the same. I hit an absolutely perfect putt, perfect speed. Just didn’t break in.”
Once again, The Florida Swing gave fans four of the best tournaments of the year, and hopefully has identified who we should be watching in three weeks at Augusta. The tour moves on to Texas this week, and the final preparations for the Masters.
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