Saying that, Stenson was clearly frustrated aft having seen the opportunity of a first PGA Tour title in 18 months slip through his grasp. But looking back, he will surely recognise what a shame it would be if Every’s achievement was in anyway overshadowed.
Talk about a course specialist. In the 24 events since breaking his Tour duck here last year, Every only finished in the top 10 once – and missed 10 cuts. Every was four shots behind Adam Scott before prevailing in 2014 and three behind Stenson this time. His 18-footer on the last for a 66 and a 19-under total was guts personified. As well as the shake of hands with Arnie it also earned him a Masters invite.
McIlroy faces his own time problems. He has two weeks to fix his errant wedge game before his shot at history at the Masters in two weeks’ time.
Rory McIlroy is going for the career Grand Slam (Getty)
“My wedge play needs quite a bit of work,” McIlroy said, after his final-round 70. “I am not taking advantage of getting up close to the green. If I am getting ready just for Augusta and I’m thinking about that, there are quite a few wedge shots for me there.
“I am going to concentrate a lot of from 120 yards in over the next couple of weeks. I will try to get that as sharp as I possibly can.”
McIloy will go to work at his home in West Palm Beach, but will do so with anything but desperation. Two birdies in the last three holes gave McIlroy an 11-under total and ensured he finished in a respectable tie for 11th.
And although the Ulsterman’s standards demand so much more, he sounded satisfied enough with his debut display at Bay Hill, particularly with his ball-striking with which he was so disappointed in his two previous performances in this month’s Florida swing.
“It would have been nice to get into contention and feel what is was like to have a chance to win but I am happy with my progress,” McIlroy said.
“That wasn’t where I wanted to finish but it gives me what I need, heading into the next couple of weeks and preparing for Augusta. I had four good competitive round aw some progress on some of the things I was working on last week. I definitely feel like I have taken strides in the right direction.”