Kokrak falls short

From staff, wire reports

ORLANDO, Fla. – Even after two bogeys to start the fourth round, Warren native Jason Kokrak wasn’t out of the mix at Bay Hill.

The John F. Kennedy graduate followed the two bogeys with three birdies on the next four holes – including a chip-in from the bunker on No. 5.

However, another two bogeys on the back nine – including on 18 – dropped Kokrak out of the running for the title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but did give him a fourth-place finish.

Kokrak completed the tournament at 10-under par. He earned $297,600 with the finish.

His playing partner, 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 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.

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.