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Every Slips Past Leaders to Win Arnold Palmer Invitational
On the second straight tough scoring day, Matt Every managed to have just enough left in the tank to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational for his first PGA Tour title. The 30-year-old closed with a 2-under 70 to edge 54-hole leader Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando.
Every, a Daytona Beach, Fla., native who often came to Bay Hill as a youngster for the tournament and went on to an outstanding amateur career, carded five birdies and three bogeys to finish at 13-under 275, a shot ahead of Bradley, who closed with a 72, and two clear of Scott, who stumbled to a 76 that included five bogeys and just one birdie.
Every overcame a four-stroke deficit to Scott entering Sunday. Scott opened with a course-record-tying 62 on Thursday followed by 68 and 71 and began the final round three ahead of Bradley.
"I still can't believe I won," a tearful Every said after Scott and Bradley - paired in the final group - couldn't tie him and force extra holes. Bradley had the best chance, but the Vermont native missed a 30-foot birdie try on the 18th that would have caused a playoff.
Every's slim margin of victory could have been larger, but two of his bogeys came on the 16th and 18th holes.
The victory, worth $1.116 million and 500 FedEx Cup points, gives Every a two-year Tour exemption and an automatic spot in next month's Masters. He'll also climb inside the top-50 when the world rankings are released Monday.
"It's hard," said an emotional Every, who won in his 92nd start. "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."
Jason Kokrak took solo fourth at 10-under 278 following a 73, while tied for fifth at 9-under were Sweden's Henrik Stenson (68), Erik Compton (69) and Italy's Francesco Molinari (73).
Brandt Snedeker and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa tied for eighth at 280 after carding 68 and 71, respectively.
Sean O'Hair matched Camilo Villegas for Sunday's low round, a 5-under 67, to rise into a tie for 10th at 6-under 282 with Graeme McDowell (70), J.B. Holmes (73) and Freddie Jacobson (73). Villegas ended up at 4-under with five others, including England's Ian Poulter, who shot a 76.
Chesson Hadley began the final round only five strokes back of Scott. But the Raleigh native ballooned to a 7-over 79 to drop into a tie for 26th at 3-under 285.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.
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