There are few things in professional golf more truly inexplicable than Matt Every’s record at Bay Hill.
In short, Matt Every is Matt Every at every other PGA Tour venue. At Bay Hill, however, he’s Tiger Woods. Not quite, but still. He has two wins there and that’s it! Every, the No. 764 golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking did miss the cut at Bay Hill last year. And outside of the aforementioned victories, he hasn’t cracked the top 20 at the Florida venue.
Every had just 16 top-10 finishes outside of his two wins in 162 PGA Tour starts. He has never won anywhere other than Bay Hill, and he’s made the cut just 85 times in those 162 starts. Indeed, in 2015, the last time he won at Bay Hill, Every missed 10 cuts in 26 starts.
He’s almost as bad as Steven Bowditch, who got a letter from the Tour asking for a drug test after he broke 80.
Even worse, he’s been in a massive slump lately, missing his last 17 cuts in a row. He’s only broken par once in his last 10 starts. His scoring average: An awful 75.26.
Not to belabor the point, but he’s been really bad. Behold.
So it is that Matt Every is the ultimate “horse for the course,” bar none, on the PGA Tour. He arrived at Bay Hill and calmly shot 73-70 (-2) to slide well inside the cut line, tied for 25th when he finished play. He’s fifth in strokes gained: approach the green thus far and first in strokes gained: around the green.
How is it possible? The explanation may have to do with the yips. However, not any variety of Yippitis you’re familiar with, most likely.
Here’s what he said at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year:
“After I won here last year, I went through this I guess a funk, kind of like blacking out over the ball. Hit these foul balls with my driver, and you just can’t compete out here when you’re reloading on the tee and then that stuff builds up, like you hit one and then it’s in your head and it’s hard to forget them.”
Blacking out? Wow. Bay Hill may be the only venue where he feels comfortable.
Every is in the last year of his two-year exemption for winning the API in 2015. So needless to say, he must capitalize this week at the venue where he’s caught lightning in a bottle…twice.