Going into the 2007 season of The Big Break Mesquite on the Golf Channel, Matt Every was considered the cockiest of the 12 contestants. He countered by saying his personality reflected the tremendous confidence he had in his golf game.
So when he lasted just two episodes, being sent home after losing an elimination round, many of his competitors were smiling.
Sunday at Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Matt Every enjoyed the last laugh.
Starting the day four shots behind third-round leader Adam Scott, Every got hot in the middle of the round with birdies on 9, 10, 12 and 14. He then kept his composure down the stretch to shoot a final-round two-under-par 70 for a 13-under-par total of 275 and a one-shot victory over late-charging Keegan Bradley in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
This was Every’s 92nd start on the PGA Tour. He was confident that he would one day raise a first-place trophy on tour, and it is appropriate that the first win came at Bay Hill. He grew up in Daytona and attended the Arnold Palmer Invitational as a kid.
“I kept telling myself, `Maybe it's going to be somewhere special,''' Every said about his first victory. ''This is really cool. I still can't believe it.''
Along with earning Every a spot in the Masters, the victory qualifies him for two World Golf Championships and the PGA Championship.
Scott, who fought a sore throat most of the week, had built a seven-shot lead after 36 holes, and led by three entering the final round. But he bunkered his first two shots on No. 1 leading to a bogey, and hooked his tee shot into the water on No. 3 for another bogey, and suddenly his lead was gone. He struggled with the putter all day and shot 76, finishing third at 277.
He wasn’t the only one to have issues with the tough, firm course conditions and the constant breeze on Sunday. Only nine payers broke 70 in the final round, as Bay Hill fought back from the softer conditions earlier in the week.