Every retains Arnold Palmer crown

Matt Every successfully defended his Arnold Palmer Invitational title on Sunday as he sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one stroke victory over Henrik Stenson.

The American had struggled to secure a top 25 finish in nearly eight months, but closing 66 saw him finish at 19-under-par In Florida.

Stenson was still the tournament leader with four holes to play, before everything took a turn for the worst.

The Swede, who enjoyed a two stroke lead heading into the final round, was very disgruntled after he bogeyed the 15th before missing his birdie chance at the easy par-five 16th.

He also missed a 20-foot birdie attempt at the last that would have earned a play-off, but instead he had to settle for par and a final round 70 – his worst 18 holes of the tournament.

Prior to the tournament Every joked with Tiger Woods that he would win again on the Bay Hill course in Orlando where Woods has won eight times and he was a sight of pure delight when it actually happened.

The 15-foot birdie that helped Every clinch the title was a quick downhill putt and with it he also secured his tick to the Masters.

“This guy in the crowd kept coughing ‘straight putt, straight putt’,” Every told reporters.

“I looked over it pretty hard and didn’t see anything. It was a great putt to have under pressure too, because I wasn’t going to come up short.

“You’ll take a win however you get it but it was cool to close one out like that.”

Meanwhile Australian Matt Jones (68) finished two strokes behind Every in third place, while American Morgan Hoffman (71) was fourth, four strokes back.

World number one Rory McIlroy finished in a tie for 11th place after he finished the tournament in the same fashion he started it – by shooting a 70.