Tale of two tourneys for Every, Scott

If healthy, should Tiger try to play again before the Masters?

Updated: March 24, 2014, 10:27 AM ET
ESPN.com

Matt Every looked like he was going to give away his first PGA Tour victory while Adam Scott did hand over a 3-shot lead through three rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. So did Every snatch the victory or did Scott let it slip away?

And since Tiger Woods didn't even tee it up at Bay Hill, what might his next move be?

Our scribes dive into those topics and more in the latest edition of Four-Ball.

1. Did Matt Every win the Arnold Palmer Invitational or did Adam Scott lose it?

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Every won it. I don't believe playing one great day of golf and one good day of golf Thursday and Friday means you win. It's the 'ol rabbit versus tortoise story. Every put four solid rounds together. In golf, four good rounds always beat a great one.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: You have to play all 72 holes. Adam Scott shot a 76 in the final round. That's not going to get it done on the PGA Tour. Give Matt Every credit for seizing the chance to take advantage of Scott's mistakes. Every won this tournament.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Scott lost it. All he needed to do was shoot 73 and he wins, 74 and he's in a playoff. Just one birdie in the final round isn't going to get it done.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: Adam Scott absolutely lost it. Every tried to lose it, too, with bogeys on two of his last three holes. But Scott missed putt after putt when all he had to do was not 3-putt for par on No. 16 and then sink a 5-footer for par on 17. It makes me wonder if the weight of possibly becoming No. 1 in the world had too much of a negative impact.

2. Where did Matt Every clinch the Arnold Palmer Invitational victory?

Collins: Matt Every won the tournament when he laid up from the rough on the 16th with his third shot. He took double- and triple-bogey out of play and gave himself a chance to save par. Even though he made bogey, he kept his momentum avoiding the big number.

Evans: Every birdied four out of five holes in the middle of his round to assert his will in the tournament. But probably his biggest shot was the short bogey putt he made at 18 on Sunday after missing his par putt. Making that putt was just enough to beat Keegan Bradley by a stroke.

Harig: His tee shot on the ninth hole was a sign that this was his day. Every's ball was headed out of bounds, but caught a tree, dropped onto the cart path and rolled forward 50 yards from where he had a shot to the green. Every took advantage and made a birdie, turning a 6 into a 3. That didn't clinch it, but it sure put him in a great position.

Maguire: Every clinched it when he went with his caddie's advice and decided to lay up on the par-5 16th hole. Yes, Every ended up making bogey, but what he didn't do was make double or worse that would have potentially put him in a playoff with Keegan Bradley. Every cut his losses. If he lays up, the worst he's going to make is bogey. If he goes for it and finds the water, he brings double-bogey into the equation. It's not the sexy play that many fans want to see, but it's the kind of decision-making that wins golf tournaments.

3. True or false: If he's healthy enough (and that's a big if), Tiger Woods should play another tournament prior to the Masters.

Collins: False. Winning majors are the object. Is playing the week (or two) prior worth the risk? Absolutely not. Does anyone believe Tiger would rather have a tourney under his belt but go to Augusta at 70 percent instead of being 100 percent without a start? Me neither.

Evans: False. Tiger shouldn't play until the Masters. San Antonio and Houston have never been on his regular schedule. Tiger has won four green jackets and 75 other times on tour. He might not win the Masters in two weeks, but it won't be because he didn't play in Texas.

Harig: False. At this point, there is no point risking further problems. If he is healthy enough to practice, he can control the environment in which he hits shots while trying not to overdo it. The situation is not ideal, but Woods may have already played one tournament too many.

Maguire: False. Woods has too much to lose by playing either of the Texas swing events and too little to gain. Would another start give him a chance for some competitive good vibes and help get the rust off his game? Sure, but with that balky back there's a huge chance he could reinjure it and make him miss the Masters. That's something Tiger won't risk.

4. What are the best/worst parts of the new World Golf Hall of Fame selection process?

Collins: The best part is that the criteria fit what we think a Hall of Fame career should look like. The worst part is the 16-person selection committee is not a reflection of what our culture of "growing the game" should look like. It looks just like what everyone outside golf accuses golf of being, a good old boys network.

Evans: Members of the media should exclusively select players to the Hall of Fame. This new format with all the committees sounds like a big bureaucracy. What I do like is the 15 wins or two majors to be considered for the selection process.

Harig: Lots of good, lots of bad. The good is making it 75 percent requirement to get in, while doing away with the international ballot and making it all about men and women. But after all the discussion about the age, it is amazing the minimum was not raised beyond 40. And as far as the voters, way too many executives. Does Roger Goodell vote on the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Bud Selig for baseball?

Maguire: The best part is that there are criteria now for entry into the Hall of Fame, specifically getting 75 percent of the vote from the 16-person committee. There's a few more of the worst parts -- including but not limited to -- the age for admittance to the Hall being left at 40, the actual voting body getting reduced from nearly 300 to just 16, and the fact that there are only three women on that committee of 16 (less than 20 percent) deciding who is Hall of Fame material.

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