Rory McIlroy's preparations for the US Masters at Augusta did not go exactly to plan at the Arnold Palmer Invitational event, as the Northern Irishman finished tied for 11th place at Bay Hill after a closing round of 70. The title itself was defended successfully by the American Matt Every, who overhauled the overnight leader Henrik Stenson over the final holes to win by one shot from the Swede. Stenson was still ahead with just four holes to play in the final round, but missed putts, amid pressure from officials to speed up his play, left him deeply frustrated by the close of his round.

McIlroy's third round despair was a major factor in him dropping out of contention at the event, as consecutive bogeys on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes saw a competitive round slip away to just a one under par 71 instead. In truth he was never really able to get into strong contention over the four days of play, with a first-round 70 leaving him back in 32nd place at the time, although he had enjoyed a far better 66-shot second round. His disappointing third round finish had left him a massive seven shots off Stenson's third round lead of 16 under par at the Florida event, as the players began the final round. The Swedish player enjoyed a two shot advantage overnight over his closest competitor, Morgan Hoffman from America, who had been the pacesetter on day one, but eventually slipped back to finish fourth.

Stenson seemed to be holding his game together down the back-nine on day four of the tournament, but his slow play was attracting the interest of the rules officials who effectively put him 'on the clock'. With that distraction clearly upsetting his game, his one shot lead going down the 15th hole disappeared as he three-putted both that hole and the next.

A par on the last hole was not enough to force a tie, as Every's birdie at the same hole proved decisive in his one shot victory over Stenson.

The Swede clearly felt a bit rushed by the attention being paid to his progress and commented afterwards that it made it difficult for him to focus properly, when "you don't feel like you can take the time you want."