Adam Scott was left to rue a disappointing weekend with the putter as American Matt Every swooped in to claim his first PGA Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
World No.2 Scott led the field at Bay Hill by seven strokes after 36 holes, and by three after 54. However, the Aussie – seeking a win ahead of his Masters defence in just over a fortnight’s time – wilted badly in the final round, carding a four-over-par 76 to allow Every to take his maiden professional title at the 92nd time of asking.
The Florida man carded a two-under 72 to finish on 13-under-par and one shot ahead of former PGA champion Keegan Bradley, with Scott a further shot adrift in third.
“I didn't putt at all well today,” admitted Scott. “It was just a little out of sorts for whatever reason.
“The putts I had to make today, they were too close. I was making long putts Thursday and Friday. I read the greens a little poorly, I must say. You need confidence in that, too, and after missing a couple over the last couple of days doubts creep into your reads. You need to be certain. And I just wasn't 100% on.”
"My short game just wasn't there. So that needs to be tightened up." - Adam Scott
Casting his mind back to the Australian Open at the tail-end of 2013, where he was also unable to convert the 54-hole lead into a win, Adam Scott added: “I really think the putting has let me down on both of those occasions. I actually played quite nicely in Australian when I had the lead. But today was a bit shaky. But this course was asking a lot of everyone today, I think. And my short game just wasn't there. So that needs to be tightened up and probably shows that I need to do a bit more work on it to hold up under the pressure.”
The Aussie’s disappointment was in stark contrast to the jubilation of Every, above, who was close to tears as he lifted his first PGA Tour title.
“It's hard, I'm telling you,” said the 30-year-old. “It's tough, you just never know if it's going to happen. I've been there so many times, so it’s nice to get it.”
Scotland’s Russell Knox banked another vital cheque in his bid to retain his tour card. The Inverness man finished in a tie for 43rd, with fellow Scot and former champion Martin Laird propping up the field in 76th.
Henrik Stenson, meanwhile, finished tied for fifth and has an opportunity to take over at the top of the world rankings in time for the Masters if he can produce something special at the Shell Houston Open next week.
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