AINT SIMONS ISLAND, GA (WALB), Matt Every walked along the Sea Island Resort practice range, wearing a white hoodie, black shades, and the look of a man unconcerned about anything. Instead of a 4-iron, he’ll be holding a microphone and making his TV debut as a guest on-course reporter for Golf Channel this week at the RSM Classic.
After a season on the PGA Tour in which he failed to make a cut in 22 appearances, the 37-year-old former Florida Gator is beginning a two-event tryout here and next month at the PNC Championship in Orlando.
“I think it’ll be beneficial for me to try something new,” he remarked. “For a long time, I was just going through the motions.” I wasn’t there mentally. I believe I have become jaded, and you can’t pretend to have the hunger of a 25-year-old who has never tasted success when you’re 37 and not growing any younger. I didn’t practice much before, and that definitely caught up with me.”
It was Colt Knost’s success as a former player that motivated Every to follow in his footsteps and become a television golf analyst and a podcast host for Golf Channel/CBS.
“In a room, we’re pretty similar,” Every remarked of Knost. “I’ve had several people I respect tell me I’d be excellent at it, and I believe I could be.” I’m a little odd; I have a bit of a sass to me, but I’m not out of control. I understand the difference between right and wrong. And there’s no one I’m terrified of out here. So, I’ll speak what I’m thinking. Some people may be afraid that I will make a mistake and say something stupid, but those are folks who don’t know me.”
Every hasn’t made a cut since the Wyndham Championship in August 2020, despite winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational twice and earning more than $10 million in career prize money. In 22 starts last season, he missed 20 cuts and withdrew twice, and he withdrew from the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, his only 2021-22 start, last month.
“I don’t have the mental fortitude to grind for a year on the Korn Ferry Tour.” “There’s no way,” he stated emphatically. “That’s just me being truthful to myself.” It wouldn’t work because I don’t want to miss what’s going on in my kids’ life.”
Every has stated that he is not abandoning golf, referring to himself as a “recreational golfer,” but he has not ruled out a comeback to the PGA Tour if his competitive impulses return. His past champion status should get him into a number of second-tier events, dubbed “the island tour” by him – Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, for example – and if he can finish in the top 200 of the FedEx Cup standings, he’ll be eligible for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Every interview has always been one of the more open, demonstrating a level of self-awareness uncommon among athletes.A breath of fresh air may be in store for the coverage if he can bring his no-nonsense assessment of his own game to the current players who have battled him for years. Some 10 years ago, during the Sony Open in Hawaii, Every was grilled by then-host Kelly Tilghman on the Golf Channel about being nabbed for marijuana use.
“Yeah, that was awkward,” Every said, “but it was so long ago.”
On Thursday, Every said he’ll be shadowing either John Wood or Curt Byrum, and the red light will go live on Friday. Steve Sands of the Golf Channel advised him to be himself and resist the impulse to talk too much.
“I’m hoping it goes well,” she says. “Someone will snag me up,” Every predicted of the audition.