There’s something about Matt Every and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The former Florida Gators golfer accomplished a rare feat on Sunday by winning the event, played at Bay Hill Club & Lounge in Orlando, for the second straight year.
Every, whose first and only PGA Tour win prior to Sunday came at the 2014 event, became the third golfer in tournament history to win it in back to back seasons. Loren Roberts (1994-95) and Tiger Woods (2000-03, 2008-09, 2012-13) were the first two.
He was three back of the lead entering Sunday after shooting 68, 66 and 69 in the first three rounds; Every responded by going 3-under on the front nine and 3-under on the back nine with a long put on the 72nd hole sealing the victory.
A three-time All-SEC selection and four-time All-American, Every’s win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational one year ago surpassed his career earnings to that point and flipped a switch on his professional career. It earned him an invitation to the Masters, and his improved Official World Golf Ranking got him a spot in The Open Championship, too. Four years earlier, Every was suspended from the game for 90 days after being arrested for marijuana possession.
The Daytona Beach, Florida, native played at Bay Hill dozens of times prior to the 2014 invitational and long dreamed of winning a PGA Tour event at the course, which is located about an hour from where he grew up. He was so thrilled with his victory last season, which like this year’s win earned him $1.12 million, that he gave his newborn daughter the middle name “Palmer.”
Every entered Bay Hill ranked No. 96. He played in nine prior tournaments this season, finishing 27th at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and 49th or worse in five events. Every also missed two cuts and was disqualified from the Sony Open due to an illegal club.
He was not the only former Gators golfer that participated in this weekend’s event. Camilo Villegas (-8) and Billy Horschel (-5) both finished in the money, ranking T21 and T43, respectively.
— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) March 22, 2015
Congrats to Florida Gator Alum and mediocre ping pong player Matt Every on his win today @APinv
— JC Deacon (@realjcdeacon) March 22, 2015
Photo Credit: Golf Digest