Matt Every wins back-to-back Arnold Palmer Invitationals


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Matt Every (left) if the first back-to-back winner at Bay Hill since Tiger Woods in 2012-2013.

Matt Every joined elite company on Sunday, as he completed back-to-back victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I did a really good job this week of keeping everything — just forgetting about the past, good or bad,” said Every. “If I made a good shot, made birdie, like alright, I’m done with it, same if I missed one. Proud of the work I’ve been putting in and I’ve had a lot of help the last few months and it’s been good.”

Every birdied the 18th hole on his way to a 6-under 66 to finish the tournament at 19-under. Third round leader Henrik Stenson missed an opportunity to force a playoff on the 18th hole when he pushed his birdie attempt to the left.

“I put it [putt on 18] on a decent line and hung in there I thought it might — the last three feet I was begging for it to hang and I was like gosh these are the ones that always lip out, be so cool to see this one dive in, and it did,” said Every. “Really cool moment.”

As mentioned, this is the second straight API victory for the 31 year-old Daytona Beach native and second win overall on the PGA TOUR. He joins Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts as the only back-to-back champions at this event.

Every has endured some struggles since last years victory. He finished in a tie for 12th at last years RBC Heritage in April and in a tie for third at the St. Jude Classic last August. Other than that, he had only finished in the top 50 five other times and has missed 11 cuts, including a withdrawal at the Zurich Classic last April and a disqualification at this years Sony Open in January.

“Last year after I won, I made everything last year here, and my game it peaked,” said Every. “I played well for a while, right up to here and after here kind of just declined…I didn’t have my best stuff…it was pretty frustrating.”

Every becomes the first player since Boo Weekley (2007-2008 RBC Heritage) to earn his first two career TOUR wins at the same event. He also becomes this season’s 19th different winner in as many events, the most since 1994, when 20 events passed before a multiple winner emerged.

Stenson became the ninth straight 54-hole leader on TOUR to not be able to capitalize in the final round. He entered the final round with a two-stroke cushion over Morgan Hoffmann, and a three-stroke lead over Every. He carded a 2-under 70 to finish 18-under overall.

“I didn’t think of it until someone brought it up here yesterday,” said Stenson. “You’re going to win some and lose some. I was in there until the end.”

Stenson’s final round playing partner Morgan Hoffmann, who held both the first and second round leads, finished fourth at 15-under after a 1-under 71 on Sunday.

Matt Jones was third at 17-under for his first top-10 finish in five starts at the API. Ben Martin rounded at the top-five, finishing at 14-under.

Following Daniel Berger’s albatross on the sixth hole Thursday, the first in Bay Hill history, Zach Johnson recorded a double-eagle of his own on the 16th hole Sunday. It marks only the sixth time since 1983 that a stroke-play tournament has featured multiple albatrosses.

It was definitely all about Every though this week at Bay Hill, who moved from No. 158 to No. 22 in the FedExCup standings. He now sets his sights on Augusta National for the Masters Tournament that begins April 9th.

“It’s cool to be back and kind of heading — the same direction,” said Every. “The same direction, but it’s a different direction at the same time.