Every claims first PGA Tour title

Matt Every captured the first victory of his PGA Tour career by shooting 2-under-par 70 to beat Keegan Bradley by one shot as Adam Scott fell apart in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.

The 30-year-old Every, who grew up an hour away in Daytona Beach and played college golf at Florida, took the lead with four birdies in a span of five holes through No. 13 and overcame bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes, missing a five-foot par putt on the last.

Bradley, trying to win for the first time since the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, closed with a 72, made birdies on the 16th and 17th holes, but missed a 29-foot putt on the final hole that would have forced a playoff.

“It’s hard (to win on the PGA Tour); it’s tough,” said a tearful Every, whose only previous professional victory came in the 2009 Nationwide Tour Championship, and who now is going to the Masters in two weeks. “I’ve been close so many times and I knew if I kept trying it was going to happen.

“This is really cool (to win at Bay Hill, where he first watched pro golf). I kept thinking maybe it was going to happen at some place special. It’s nice to get it done. I still can’t believe I won.

“I hit a lot of good shots. It would have been nice to make that last putt and celebrate … bummer … but I’ll take it.”

Scott, who opened with a 62, held a seven-stroke lead after two rounds and was still up by three heading into the final round, made his only birdie on the fourth hole while closing with a 76 to finish two strokes back in third.

With a victory, he probably would have gone into his title defense at the Masters at No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings.

Every took a three-stroke lead to the 16th hole, but let Scott and Bradley back into the picture with a bogey. However, the Aussie barely missed a 19-foot eagle putt down the hill on the same hole and then pulled his four-foot birdie putt to the left before making a bogey at No. 17.

Jason Kokrak finished another shot back in fourth after a 73, while Henrik Stenson of Sweden shot 68 to tie for fifth with Erik Compton, who had a 69, and Francesco Molinari of Italy, who came in at 73.

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