Matt Every seemed to be cruising to an improbable, come-from-way-behind victory Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he got to the par-5 16th at Bay Hill and proceeded to make a (relatively) easy hole look hard.
With a three-shot lead and standing on the tee of what was formerly one of the PGA Tour’s most difficult holes but is now one of the most accessible, Every knocked his drive into a clearing in the woods and ricocheted an errant second shot backwards off a tree in his line to the fairway.
With the ball in the rough and stymied behind the tree, Every eventually laid up in front of the water hazard and settled for a bogey. But not before his caddie colorfully convinced him of the need to play it safe and forced NBC broadcasters to apologize for Derek Mason’s animated, persuasive approach.
Listener discretion would have been advised on the following video, the deletion of which sniffed of PGA Tour Big Brother-ism:
"If we just put this right in the f**kin’ end of the fairway, we’re gonna f**kin’ get up and down 75 percent of the time," Mason advised Every before he attempted his third shot.
NBC broadcaster Gary Koch translated for those of tender ears:
"I like what his caddie’s trying to talk him into," Koch said. "He’s trying to talk him into laying up and we apologize for the language you may have heard -- but his caddie is in control here. You can see Matt looking at the green but his caddie is saying, ‘if we lay it up put it down there at the end of the fairway, you’re gonna get it up and down 75 percent of the time and make a par so right about now, that’s all you can hope for.’"
Koch did not, however, go to the telestrator, as his colleague, Johnny Miller, did last year when chastising Woods at this very Bay Hill setting:
Tiger with a loud f-bomb and Johnny Miller puts the telestrator to use pic.twitter.com/sXm67Mmxzu— Brendan (@BrendanPorath) March 25, 2013
[UPDATE - Thanks to Geoff Shackleford, it appears the language police fell down on the job and let this version make its way out of blacklist hell]:
In any case, Every later explained the situation.
"Sixteen, I’m not going to lay up off the tree, because I should play it like it’s any other downwind par-5: hit a 5-iron in or 6-iron in," he told reporters after nailing down his first tour win. "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," he said. "It was just tracking the whole way. I was like, ‘come on, please don’t hit it.'"
But, alas, he did just that.
"Yep," he said. "Boom."
No doubt, Commissioner Renault will lower the boom on the Every/Mason duo, who can expect to sign over a portion of their $1.16 million winner's paycheck to the Naughty Golfers fund for their Shocking! Shocking! display of language no one has ever heard before anywhere, especially on a golf course.