Matt Every completes improbable comeback to win Arnold Palmer Invitational

Associated Press Published:

GOLF

Every claims first Tour win at Bay Hill

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Matt Every is finally a winner on the PGA Tour, and he's still not sure how it happened.

He was nine shots behind Masters champion Adam Scott going into the weekend at Bay Hill. He was still four back of the Australian he referred to as a "stud" going into the final round Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Every figured even par over the last three holes would do the trick. He made two bogeys.

Even after a hearty handshake from the tournament host and a shiny trophy an arm's length away from, Every summed up this wild day with just the right words.

"I ... I ... I can't believe I won," he said. "I just ... I really can't."

The tee shot that he feared might be out-of-bounds on No. 9 somehow bounced along a cart path and led to an unlikely birdie. He surged to a three-shot lead when Scott's touch with the putter vanished. Even with two bogeys on the last three holes -- he missed a 4-foot par putt on the 18th -- Every still closed with a 2-under 70.

The last bogey made him sweat out the finish. Keegan Bradley, who birdied the 16th and 17th holes, had a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have forced a playoff. It was similar to the putt Tiger Woods has made so often to win at Bay Hill. Bradley's putt stayed left of the hole, and he finished one shot behind.

Every finished at 13-under 275, one shot ahead of Bradley, who needed two late birdies for a 72. Scott was third.

In his 92nd start as a pro on the PGA Tour, Every finally won at just the right time and just the right place.

The 30-year-old who grew up 90 minutes away in Daytona Beach used to come to Bay Hill as a kid to watch the tournament. And he beat the Masters champion to earn his own spot in the Masters next month.

Scott shattered the Bay Hill record by taking a seven-shot lead after 36 holes and still led by three shots over Bradley going into Sunday. His putting stroke betrayed him. Scott made only five bogeys over 54 holes. He made five on Sunday alone. And he didn't make a birdie over the last 14 holes for a 76.

BASEBALL

Injured Reds closer Chapman surfaces

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Aroldis Chapman, with two black eyes, has returned to the Cincinnati Reds' clubhouse four days after being hit in the face by a line drive.

The 26-year old left-hander had surgery Thursday to repair a broken bone above his left eye at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. A night earlier, he was hit by a ball off the bat of Kansas City's Salvador Perez.

Chapman will begin cardio and throwing off flat ground in eight to 10 days. Chapman is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

The Reds are using the last week of spring training to find a closer to replace Chapman, who will be one of six Reds' players to start the season on the disabled list.

Tigers, Scherzer fail to agree on deal

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers failed to reach agreement on a long-term contract and will not negotiate again until after the season.

The Tigers say in a statement that Scherzer rejected their most recent offer. The 2013 Cy Young Award winner struck out 240 batters in 2141⁄3 innings last season, and went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA.

Scherzer, who will make $15.53 million this season, has said he does not want to discuss contract matters during the season.

The Tigers have two other starters tied up in long-term deals, including 2011 Cy Young and AL MVP winner Justin Verlander, who is set to make $28 million per yet through 2019. Anibal Sanchez has a deal set to pay him $16.8 million a year through 2017.

SKIING

Avalanche kills two at Sochi venue

MOSCOW -- An avalanche killed two skiers on Sunday at the Russian mountain resort used for the Sochi Olympics the day after it opened to the public, the resort said.

Six skiers were on the middle section of Labirint run when the avalanche struck, the Roza Khutor resort said in a statement. The snow buried two women, and rescuers who dug them out were unable to save them, it said. The four other skiers escaped unharmed.

Roza Khutor was the site of the Alpine skiing competitions during the Winter Games in February and the Paralympics that followed. The resort reopened to the public on Saturday.

FOOTBALL

Owners to ponder major rule changes

ORLANDO, Fla. -- As further proof the NFL never is far from the headlines, owners could make plenty of news this week at their spring meetings.

They will consider 13 playing rules proposals and seven bylaws. They will discuss expanding the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams, although a vote on such a move is uncertain.

Some changes would seem to be slam dunks: extending the height of the goal posts 5 feet to help determine if kicks are good; eliminating overtime in preseason games; placing fixed TV cameras on the goal lines, end lines and sidelines to help with replay reviews.

Others seem almost sidebars to the real action, such as from where to enforce defensive penalties when they occur behind the line of scrimmage, or extending pass interference calls to within a yard of the line.

Perhaps the juiciest suggestions came from the Patriots. They want to move the line of scrimmage to the 25 for extra points, and to allow coaches to challenge any calls except on scoring plays, which are automatically reviewed.

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