Scott falls short at Arnold Palmer Invitational
Masters champion Adam Scott said he achieved what he wanted despite letting slip victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
The PGA Tour greeted its newest winner in Floridian Matt Every who posted a final round 70 to win by a shot with a 13-under par victory tally.
Adam Scott tees off at Bay Hill (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
Every earned his maiden Tour success in his 93rd event and also became the first player since Paul Goydos in 1996 to win the Arnold Palmer hosted event as his inaugural PGA Tour title.
It was the 30-year old Every’s fifth start at Bay Hill but then he’s shown impressive signs coming to Orlando having made 10 of 11 cuts on Tour this season along with five top-10s.
“It’s really cool to win on a golf course so close to my home and I kept telling myself maybe it will be somewhere special where I win my first PGA Tour event, so I don’t think there could be a more special place,” he said.
Scott revealed he was heading straight to Augusta for the next few days no doubt to finalise preparations for the Former Champions Dinner he will host on the Tuesday before he commences his defence, and more importantly to get familiar with the venue where Australian golf last year ended a 79-year wait for a first Australian-born player to be fitted with a famed Augusta National green members jacket.
“I’m going to Augusta for the next couple of days and then home to work on my game,” he said.
“If nothing else, it’s a good reminder on how much putting practice I need to do going into the Masters and just how important it is. And if I think back to last year, I made every putt that you expect to in that last round and ultimately that’s I guess what gave me the chance to win.”
A check of Scott’s putting statistics for the four rounds at Bay Hill reveals he needed just 23 putts in his course-record equaling opening round on Thursday and then 29 during Friday’s round of 68.
However the Queenslander took 31 putts on Saturday and ended today with 32 putts using his ‘broomhandle’ putter.
“I just didn’t make the putts I had to make today, and then I found myself having to make long putts Thursday and Friday,” he said.
“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 creep into your reads.”
“You need to be certain and I just wasn’t a hundred per cent on them.”
However it is the second occasion in six events Scott has shot an opening round 62 and then led for three rounds only to see victory slip through his fingers.
Scott shot a first round 62 on day one of December’s Emirates Australian Open to then lead for three days, and in fact 71 holes, only to lose out to Rory McIlroy after the Australian bogeyed the last while McIlroy won with a birdie at Royal Sydney.
Now Scott’s repeated that disappointment.
But then he left Orlando admitting: ”I take a lot of positive stuff out of this week. I didn’t putt at all well today. It was just a little out of sorts for whatever reason.
“But I somewhat achieved what I wanted out of coming here to Bay Hill. 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.”
The 10-time PGA Tour winning Scott has now headed into the final round leading in 11 PGA Tour events and closed out six, with his last success being in the 2011 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational.
And Scott said he takes no solace when it was mentioned to him that since 2006 no one has won the Masters after having won the Arnold Palmer Invitational
“I like it,” he smiled.
“I feel good that I played my way into contention on the weekend. Of course, it was not the outcome I wanted today. I wanted to play a great round and kind of run away with the thing.
“But it’s clear what I have to work on for the Masters and that’s to get my putting in nice order. It was nice the first couple of days, but it’s a different story when you get to hit a lot of six and 10 footers with the pressure on you.”
Scott’s consolation was a third prize cheque for $US 421,600 that has taken his Arnold Palmer winnings to just short of $US2 million.
The ever-consistent Aussie Matt Jones was the next best of the Australians after a final round 72 left him at T14 and 5-under. Last week’s Valspar Championship winner, John Senden, finished a distant T52.