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ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY MASTERCARD


March 23, 2014


Matt Every


ORLANDO, FLORIDA

MARK STEVENS:  Like to welcome our 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational champion, Matt Every.  Matt, exciting day.  I know you have a lot of emotions being so close to your home.  Kind of talk about the win and then we'll have some questions.
MATT EVERY:¬† I can't believe I won.¬† I just‑‑ I really can't.
Being close to winning out here, I mean it can be kind of discouraging because if you don't win you just wonder if it's ever going to happen.  And sometimes on the other side you tell yourself, well, maybe it's meant to be somewhere else, somewhere better.  And I don't see how it could get much better than this, being so close to where I grew up and all the fans out there that were cheering me on.  And all the Gator fans.  It was awesome.

Q.  How tough was the bunker shot on 17?  Did you think you had a little better second shot on 18 than it turned out?
MATT EVERY:¬† Yeah, 17 was not that hard of a shot.¬† I knew it ran away from me pretty good.¬† And that ball was probably going‑‑ probably had a little speed on it, but it hit dead center of the pin.¬† It would have been cool to see it go in.
If you would have told me I would have made three there when I walked into the bunker, I would have taken it.
And 18, I actually took‑‑ I think I had 176 and it was just off the left to the hole and I took a very conservative line with a 7‑iron and just smoked it.¬† I mean, you know, I have to err on the long side.¬† I still didn't think it was going to fly where it did.¬† But it worked out.

Q.  Have you given any thought to getting into the Masters?
MATT EVERY:¬† Yeah, I mean, that's awesome.¬† When Keegan missed the putt it was just like, I couldn't believe he missed it, first of all.¬† And then, you know‑‑ you really don't think about that.¬† I thought I finally won.¬† Because golf is totally different than any other sport.¬† You're used to losing out here.¬† You lose every week, pretty much.¬† And sometimes you forget what it feels like to win.¬† And it was just‑‑ it's nice to have that feeling again.

Q.  When did it ever cross your mind, let's say the last hour, that I might be winning this tournament?
MATT EVERY:¬† When I made birdie on 13 I knew I was in a really good spot.¬† I knew that if I played even on the way out it was going to‑‑ I was going to be tough to beat.
Then when I parred 14 and then 15, that tee shot just sets up‑‑ I just didn't have it with‑‑ if there was one weakness this week it was off the tee for me.
That tee shot sets up not real great for me, so I played very conservative, got it in the fairway and then I just striped a 4‑iron, it rolled to about the center of the green.¬† I knew once I two‑putted there, it was like, all right, I don't want to look at any leader boards.
16 I'm not going to layup off the tee, because I should play it like it's any other downwind par‑5, hit a 5‑iron in or 6‑iron in.¬† And then just had to make it interesting chipping it out.¬† That tree was as big as my leg and I hit it dead center.¬† It was just tracking the whole way.¬† I was like, come on, please don't hit it.¬† Yep.¬† Boom.

Q.  The other thing I was going to ask you, you hear a lot of guys winning, something kind of funny happens for them in the middle of the round.  I wonder if that tee shot on 9 might have been it?
MATT EVERY:  That was so huge.  I've actually hit it a little left there before, and it was either last year or the year before.  I didn't think it was that bad.  And then I had some guy some out and tell me it was out of bounds.  And I'm like, what?  It's so bare over there, and if it rolls left of the path it's OB.
When I hit it I was about 80 percent sure it was going to go out of bounds, just rolling out, and nobody stopping it.  It was a huge break.  Then I had a clean lie at like 130 and ended up making birdie.  That was a big, big shift there.

Q.  Two different questions.  First of all, on No. 18 tee I saw you look back, wait for Adam to hit, kind of paused, what were you thinking?
MATT EVERY:¬† I really just didn't want his ball to land in my backswing.¬† And then I saw he didn't hit the green and I knew‑‑ I don't even know what he did‑‑ I know he hit it close on 16 but then I saw he made par.¬† And I thought they messed up the scoreboard or something, because there's no way he made par there.
And then Keegan‑‑ when I got to 18th green they put up their scores and I saw Keegan was two back at the time.¬† And I wanted to make that putt so bad because I knewI could celebrate.¬† But I didn't make it.¬† I was very nervous over that putt.¬† I have to work on that.

Q.  And second of all, I saw you talking to Brandt's stat guy, Mark, on the range this week.  Were you working with him and how did he help you this week?
MATT EVERY:¬† I'm not working with him.¬† He‑‑ I just know him because he's out here all the time.¬† He's a good dude.
And this is a funny story, so I sat down with him earlier in the week, and he said, you've been playing good this year.  Yeah, it's been pretty good.  He goes, let me tell you something, if I was a betting man, every time you get in contention I would bet against you.  And I was like, what?  It kind of took me by surprise a little bit.
Then he gave me a couple of tips and it was kind of nice to hear something like that, because a lot of people out here just pump your tires.  And depending on who it's coming from, it doesn't even mean anything.
But when he said that it kind of‑‑ it hit me pretty good.¬† And I was like, part of me was, like, screw him, I'll show him.¬† And part of me was like, he's right, you know?¬† And one of the reasons he said was I am way too aggressive on Sundays.¬† And that was like‑‑ that was the main thing.
So yesterday, you know, when I was in here saying I wanted to be a little more conservative, and I was, I was a lot more conservative today than I normally am.  I just took what it gave me and it worked out.
It's kind of weird how things like that work out.  He said that at the start of the week and then I ended up winning.  But I'm happy he said that to me because I needed it.

Q.  You think he lost any money on you today?
MATT EVERY:¬† No.¬† I don't even know if‑‑ I don't even know‑‑ I don't know.

Q.  What goes on in your head when you're down by 7 and 9 strokes at various points to the No. 2 player in the world?  What goes on?  Do you think you have a realistic shot?
MATT EVERY:¬† After Friday‑‑ I don't know how Adam is going to play.¬† And the thing that's weird is if you're 9 back and there's 20 guys ahead of you at 9 back, then, yeah, it's going to be tough.¬† But if you're 9 back and the next guy ahead of you is 7 back it really only takes the one guy to not have his best stuff to let other people in the tournament.
So I just kept playing.¬† I know he is a stud, but I don't know how many times he's had a 7 shot lead.¬† I can assure you it's not easy.¬† I mean‑‑ I guarantee you it's not easy to play with a 7 shot lead.¬† You almost have nothing to‑‑ you have nothing to gain.¬† If you win, yeah, you should have won, you were up by 7.¬† And then if you lose, it's, oh, you‑‑ you know what I mean?
I never thought, yeah, I'm going to chase Adam down.¬† That wouldn't have been possible if he was playing his best.¬† There's no way that I am good enough or‑‑ there's no way that I'm that good for him to have his good stuff and me have my good stuff and me make up nine shots on him, it's just not possible.
So things happen.  It's a weird game.

Q.  Can you maybe just walk us through what's going through your head and the emotions, obviously the bogey on 16 and then in the bunker 17.  You know Adam hits it close on 16.  What's going through your head at that point?
MATT EVERY:¬† On 16 I was‑‑ it was down off the right.¬† And I was just going to hit a‑‑ I've been pulling my driver all day.¬† And I was just going to aim at the right bunker and if I pulled it a little, fine.¬† The only thing I was thinking about, there, that might not be good is if I pulled it out of bounds.¬† I know that's terrible, but it did creep in my mind.
And then‑‑ so I blocked it.¬† When I got up there I had a great lie.¬† And it wasn't that hard of a chip out.¬† I had this one little tree and I was going to go under it, laying under it and roll on to the fairway and have a wedge on and whatever, make par, have a look at birdie.
And then that thing‑‑ it was like slow motion when with that thing was in the air, just one‑hopped right in the center.¬† Even after it hit the tree, if it would have kicked either way, just a little bit, I would have had a shot.¬† But out of the rough‑‑ and I had to go left of the tree and cut it out of a fluffy lie.¬† And there was no way I could get enough spin on the ball to shape it that much and trust it.¬† I knew worst case I was going to make bogey chipping out.¬† I felt like I was giving up two there chipping out.¬† I guess he three‑putted, so I really only gave up one.
17, yeah, I hit a great shot on stroke play, came up a couple of yards short.  I couldn't hit it any better.  Right on my line.  Absolutely smoked it.
And then I hit a good bunker shot.¬† I've been struggling with my bunker play, I asked some guys out here on tips every now and then.¬† And then I'll watch like YouTube videos of bunker‑‑ it's just, you know‑‑ and I'll just roll with it if it's working.¬† And I hit a few good bunker shots this week.¬† Yeah, it was nice for that one to hit the pin, I thought it was going to go in and it didn't.
18 the same thing, I hit a great shot.  I guess I was too pumped up.

Q.  You looked surprised when you hit over the green on 18.  How tough was that chip shot?
MATT EVERY:¬† Yeah, I was surprised.¬† If anything I was worried about it carrying the water as opposed to going over the green.¬† The chip wasn't that hard.¬† All I had to do was get it started.¬† And I knew I had a 2‑shot lead and I knew worst case if I bogeyed, Keegan would have to birdie.¬† It's just not that easy of a birdie hole.¬† The distance‑‑ if you have to make birdie, that might make it a little easier.¬† But it's tough to get your distance right there.¬† The wind is dead off the left and sometimes it's helping a little and sometimes it's hurting.¬† So it's not the easiest shot.

Q.  On 16 you and your caddie were smiling.  It seemed like you were releasing a little of the tension.  You seemed to be still pretty in control despite the fact that everything that was going on.  How were you feeling?
MATT EVERY:  Yeah, I felt great over my irons all day.  I knew that if I could just get a clean hit on the back of the ball I was going to be all right.  Because every strike today was just pure with my irons.
So 17, off of a par‑3, I feel like that's my strength right now.¬† And I just didn't have much to worry about.¬† I knew where my ball was going with my iron.

Q.¬† You've never been completely lacking in self‑confidence.¬† How is that self‑confidence ebbed and flowed over the years?¬† Did you ever expect ten years ago, did you ever expect it would take to age 30 to break through like this?
MATT EVERY:  I don't know.  It's just so hard to get out here, first of all.  It's not like if you're the best in college in any other sport you sign this big contract and then right to the pros.  Here it's like, big deal.  Nobody cares.  Start over.
And there's so many good players now.¬† It's so hard to get out here.¬† So once you're out here and you get‑‑ like I said before, you're so used to losing that the thought's in the back of your mind, but sometimes you just forget about it.

Q.  I know it's still a new feeling to be thinking about the Masters but along the lines of the confidence that you've had do you go there with the thought of continuing this kind of play and having a chance to win?
MATT EVERY:  Yeah, I mean I've had a good year.  I think I heard that I'm 7th in the FedExCup now.  So that's obviously the highest I've ever been.
I've never played there.¬† And I know that experience is a big experience there.¬† I'm going to try my hardest.¬† I need to work on my driver a little bit.¬† But, yeah, I'm not like‑‑ I'm definitely not top five in the word right now (laughter.)¬† Probably top 70.¬† No, it's all right.¬† Yeah, I'm very excited, and I'm going to go there and try and play my best and see where it gets me.¬† But like I said I've been there once, I've never played it.¬† There's so many new things I need to learn.¬† No expectations.

Q.  I want to go something Ken was saying a minute ago.  If you go back to '10 and the suspension that effectively kept you from keeping your card that year, right?
MATT EVERY:  Yep.

Q.  There's a line in the media guide that you said you considered getting your card back being your greatest achievement.  For somebody that's certainly sure of your ability what made you say that?
MATT EVERY:¬† It's tough to go‑‑ you kind of see it out here, too‑‑ I can't provide examples right now.¬† But once you go from the Tour and back to the Web.com Tour, it's not easy to go back up to the Tour.¬† I mean just mentally you're like, you know, I'm playing for a tenth of what I was playing for the year before.
It's not easy.  And I knew I just had to dig down and get it back.  That's my only way to get it back was through Web.com.  I was happy I got it.  And it was a huge accomplishment to get back out here, yeah.

Q.¬† And then secondly, as much as you're playing week‑by‑week and putting some decent scores and good tournaments together, did you truly feel like you belonged with these guys out here, compared with how you feel after you've won?
MATT EVERY:  This week?

Q.  Out through your last couple of years.  You're out playing with these guys and you know you've got the ability.  Does winning give you a certain sense of belonging that you might not have had before?
MATT EVERY:¬† No.¬† I knew my good stuff was good.¬† I would be lying‑‑ I won't lie to myself.¬† I knew‑‑ I know when I play well that I am very good.¬† I'm not going to say top‑5, but I'm very good.¬† And it's just‑‑ it's a putt here or there.¬† It's just little things, man, getting up and down here or there, a bounce here or there that could be the difference in winning or not winning; winning and finishing 15th, you know.¬† Because say you've got a terrible break, it costs you two shots and your attitude is bad and there it goes.
But it's very nice to win.  And I mean it's just cool that I can say that I won on the PGA TOUR.  But I always felt like my game was plenty good enough to win out here.

Q.  Congratulations.  Did you have a change in swing, a little more compact than you've had before?
MATT EVERY:¬† Maybe.¬† I've just been doing my own thing, really.¬† Just trying to keep my lower body stable, trying and keep my feet on the ground, which I know with my driver I don't do.¬† I can't make this up, but this week I switched‑‑ I'd switched everything in my bag to Callaway, except for the ball.¬† And this week I finally went to the SR 3, the Star, and it was my first week with it and I won.¬† I mean that's pretty cool, yeah.

Q.  You found out you won shortly after signing your scorecard.  I saw that you took an extra second there in the portable to kind of gather your emotions.  What was running through your head once you found out you won.
MATT EVERY:¬† Well, when I missed that putt on the last I just‑‑ I knew he was going to make birdie, just because that's the way things usually work out.¬† And he's really good.¬† He is.
And then they had a TV in the trailer and it was about five seconds behind, because he was getting ready to walk into his putt and I had heard the moans.¬† And then I heard the people outside cheering.¬† And I knew he had missed.¬† And it was just‑‑ I couldn't believe it.¬† I just wasn't ready for it, you know?¬† And it's really cool.¬† It's a huge‑‑ it was a huge moment for my family, myself and my caddie, too.¬† He works hard, too.¬† It's cool for him, too.

Q.  What did Arnold say to you?
MATT EVERY:¬† Just congrats, happy for me.¬† I've known Sam for a while.¬† And they actually gave me a sponsor invite in here a few years ago when I was on my minor medical, which meant a lot.¬† I wasn't expecting it.¬† I'm not like a huge name.¬† And I know there's a ton of guys that live in the area that need them and are way better than me.¬† So it's just nice to‑‑ I know he was happy for me.¬† And it was really cool.

Q.  Do you feel humbled, does winning make you humbled?
MATT EVERY:¬† I feel like I've‑‑ everyone says‑‑ I really don't think I'm arrogant, at all.¬† I just don't see it.¬† Telling the truth is arrogance, then, whatever.¬† But, you know, there's just‑‑ I guess you could say I feel humbled.¬† I'm not like a‑‑

Q.¬† I don't know that anyone has ever called you arrogant.¬† They said you were cocky or had self‑belief or whatever.
MATT EVERY:  What's wrong in believing in yourself?  There's so many sensitive people that just get all torn up on the dumbest stuff.  And it's okay to believe in yourself.
What Patrick Reed said last week, I thought that was great.¬† The only part that I kind of was like‑‑ was when he listed his r√©sum√©.¬† But other than that, you know (laughter).
No, I'm serious.¬† That's great he thinks he's a top‑5 player, he probably is right now.¬† What's wrong with thinking good things about yourself?

Q.  Nothing.  I just wondered if you finally win that it's so overwhelming that it almost calms you?
MATT EVERY:  Yeah, it is overwhelming.  But I don't know if it calms me.
MARK STEVENS:  All right.  Well, thank you for your time, Matt.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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