Scott gifts title to Matt Every
Those betting on Adam Scott to repeat victory at Augusta National next month shouldn’t pay much attention to his apparent weekend collapse at Bay Hill. At least, that’s how Scott sees it.
“I take a lot of positive stuff out of it,” he said afterward.” I didn’t putt at all well. It was just a little out of sorts for whatever reason.”
Scott went into Sunday’s final round with a three stroke lead, after setting record lows for the first two rounds but frittered away his advantage on the front nine. Unlike earlier rounds where he absolutely dominated the back half of the course, this time he was unable to power away from the field, finishing with a lacklustre 76 that good for just third place.
Yet the 33-year-old Aussie glamour boy, whose deportment in the public arena is as smooth and silky as his golf swing, was anything but disappointed.
“I somewhat achieved what I wanted out of coming here,” he said. “Playing in contention over the weekend was fun. Definitely identified a few areas that I’ll be working on in the next couple of weeks, and I’m looking forward to that. It was good to be back in the mix again.”
Meantime for a tear-filled up-note ending, look no further than 30-year old journeyman Matt Every, who edged Scott for the Arnold Palmer Invitational title, despite nervously missing a last green four-footer that potentially opened the door to a charging Keegan Bradley.
Bradley struck what appeared to be a perfectly on-line putt from twenty feet for the birdie that would take the title into overtime. But his ball mysteriously stopped breaking two feet short of the hole to edge past the cup on the high side. Suddenly Every owned his first title in 92 PGA Tour starts and the man not often noted for personal humility was unable to hold back the tears.
“It’s a relief. I’m glad it’s over,” he said haltingly.” I tell you, I just took what it gave me today. I didn’t drive it great. I made a ton of putts. It just worked out.”
It worked out despite a blocked right tee shot of the par-five 16th, where Every required two attempts to get back to the fairway, a bunkered tee shot at the par-three 17th and a wind-piercing 7-iron from a 176yds that cleared the final green. It worked out because Scott’s last big chance to get back in the mix, a makeable eagle attempt at the 16th,turned into a deflating three-putt affair, effectively extinguishing almost any possibility of a turnaround catch up.
“Golf is totally different than any other sport,” Every said later reflectively. “You’re used to losing out here. You lose every week, pretty much. And sometimes you forget what it feels like to win. It’s nice to have that feeling again.”
For his Masters prep, Scott plans to sharpen his putting. His confidence doesn’t require any assist right now.