Matt Every put on a master-class performance on Sunday as he overcame the odds to retain his Arnold Palmer Invitational title just weeks before the first major of the year.
Henrik Stenson started the day in the lead on 16 under-par, but the Ice Cool Swede couldn’t keep his nerve as he let a one shot lead slip in the last four holes. Stenson extended his score on the front nine as he carded two birdies and bogey to go into the back nine on a high. Two birdies in a row on 11 and 12 took him to three under for the day and looked to extend his lead but his confidence was soon knocked as he was put on the clock by officials after a slow start to the back nine.
“It’s hard when you don’t feel like you can take the time you want,” he said.
Stenson three putted the 15th for bogey to take him back one and level with Every on 18 under. The swede looked to have bounced back after hitting the par 5 16th in two but followed his three putt on the previous hole with another here.
The American managed to retain his title with a magnificent putt for birdie on the 18th to take the clubhouse lead on 19 under. All Every had to was watch the rest of the groups come down the last and fail one by one.
“I kind of had a feeling. I was shaking some of those putts in but the one on 18, straight downhill, that’s what you want when under pressure.”
Fellow American Morgan Hoffman was another title contender in the early stages of the final round as he birdied five of the first eight holes before dropping his first hole of the day on the ninth. His back nine however was not on the same level, as he bogeyed the 12th and 13th before hitting his drive on the last out-of-bounds. Which ultimately diminished his chances of gaining his first win on the PGA Tour.