Matt Every has taken inspiration from fellow Florida Gators. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- When he played golf at the University of Florida, Matt Every's yardstick was Camilo Villegas.
Villegas was a four-time All-American for the Gators, and Every measured himself against his Colombian teammate. He wanted Villegas to do well but he was always motivated to try to do better.
Now Every, who went on to win the Ben Hogan Award as the nation's top collegian two years after Villegas graduated, has another measuring stick -- his good friend and another former Gator Billy Horschel.
Horschel, who graduated three years after Every, picked up his first PGA TOUR title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans earlier this year. It was the culmination of a torrid stretch that saw him tie for second, third and ninth in his three previous starts.
Horschel has added three other top-10s in his six starts since, bringing his total for the season to seven. He's only missed one cut this year, ranks fifth in the FedExCup and with the exception of the octopus pants Horschel sported in the U.S. Open has impressed no less than Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson.
And seeing his good friend's success has lit a fire of sorts under Every, who owns a one-shot lead at the midway point of The Greenbrier Classic.
"It has motivated me," Every said. "I know I can win out here. It didn't take Billy winning to know that. It's not like a jealous motivation. I mean, I was really genuinely happy for Billy when he won. But it is a motivation. ...
"Not that I'm measuring myself up against Billy but he's pretty good right now, he's one of the best in the world right now."
If Every keeps playing the way he did Friday, though, he may join his friend in the winner's circle soon. He's tied for fifth in fairways hit, missing just four, and ranks first in greens in regulation, finding 31 of 36 through the first two rounds.
The key in the second round, though, was what Every did once he got on those greens. He needed 32 putts in shooting a first-round 69 but used just 26 and blitzed the field by 4.5 in strokes-gained putting on Friday.
"I haven't made anything all year and it finally just happened today," Every said.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Matt Every has played in the final group of the final round two previous times in his 70 starts on the PGA TOUR. He didn't get the victory either time.
Perhaps the third time will be the charm on Sunday.
Every will join 54-hole leader Matt Kuchar in the final group Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (tee time is 2:05 p.m. ET). He'll start the round one stroke back and in a tie for second with three other players -- Chris Stroud, Boo Weekley and Graham DeLaet.
Every is hoping for windy conditions.
"I'm hitting it good right now," he said, "so i think when the wind picks up, it might favor me a little bit as far as separating the field. When it doesn't blow out here, it's kind of a putting contest because the greens are soft and slow."
Every won the 2009 Web.com Tour Championship but his best finishes on TOUR are two second-place finishes in 2012.
"I'm just going to play," Every said. "And if I win, great. You never know what can happen."
MATT EVERY IN THE FINAL GROUP ON SUNDAY
|Year||Tournament||Playing partner(s)||Score||Final position|
|2012||Sony Open in Hawaii||Jeff Maggert||72||Tied for 6th|
|2012||Valero Texas Open||Ben Curtis, John Huh||71||Tied for 2nd|
|2013||Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial||Matt Kuchar||??||??|
Matt Every opened with a 5-under 65 in Thursday's first round at Colonial. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Matt Every hasn't been happy with his putter this year, and the stats back him up. He ranks 130th on the PGA TOUR in strokes gained-putting, and his ranking is even worse on putts from 5-15 feet.
Two weeks ago at THE PLAYERS Championship, he led the field in greens in regulation, normally a precursor to being in contention at the TOUR's flagship event. But he ranked 70th in strokes gained-putting, leaving him in a tie for 26th on the final scoreboard.
On Thursday, though, Every rolled in a birdie putt from 12 feet, another from 13-1/2 feet, and for good measure drained a 20-footer in the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
No surprise that his score reflected his hot putter -- a 5-under 65, his lowest round on TOUR since early February.
"It's been a pretty bad year for what I am expecting this year for myself," Every said. "That the way it goes sometimes. I've putted horrible.
"I can deal with hitting it bad because then you can make putts and it just covers up so much stuff. But when you putt horribly it just drives you nuts."
At TPC Sawgrass, Every used an oversize putting grip and went with a cross-handed approach, but after struggling on the greens that week, he's back to a smaller grip and conventional approach.
He thinks the switch made an impact on Thursday.
"Sometimes you need the feel in your hands to kind of steer it in," Every said. "You can't really steer it in when you take the feel out of the putt with the big grip.
"So I put a small one back on and then just went to conventional and trying not to care about the result as much."
By Tim Price, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
SAN ANTONIO -- The arrival of a first-born can change anyone’s life, and Matt Every is no different.
The man who came to the Valero Texas Open last year, shot a first-round 63 to break the course record at the tough TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course, and said he’d given up instructors and grinding practice sessions, has found being a father has changed him.
“I feel like I’ve practiced more this year, more than I ever have in my life because I’m playing for somebody else,” Every said. “I’m playing for my son. It’s a bigger deal, and it might be hurting me a little.
“I hardly ever practiced. Now I almost feel like everything needs to be perfect and maybe I’m over prepared sometimes, for me.”
Every, 29, and his wife Danielle welcomed their son’s birth last year, and the new dad said he enjoys -- for the first time in his life -- regularly getting up at 5 a.m.
It came in the midst of his best season since qualifying for the PGA TOUR after winning the 2009 Nationwide Tour Championship. He was sixth at the Sony Open in Hawaii after bringing the lead into the final round, third at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, took second at the Valero Texas Open and was second again at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
He has another top 10 this year (ninth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open), but that’s it. He’s missed six of 11 cuts, including last week at the Shell Houston Open with rounds of 79-77.
“I’m struggling right now,” Every said, “It’s nice to come back to a place where I feel comfortable. My swing is a little out of whack. It’ll get there; it’s a long year.”
At San Antonio last year Every had a statistical ball-striking ranking of 17, which held as a season-best until his runner-up in Orlando. His total-driving figure of 42 was his third-best mark of the season.
But he’s off from those marks this season: 115th in greens in regulation and 131st in total driving, and his putting hasn’t helped (114th in 3-putt avoidance).
“It’s not all about the golf swing out here,” Every said. “Just get a hot putter one week and you can cover up so much. I was watching the tournament last weekend, and it was crazy the guys on top of the leaderboard were just pouring in 20 footers left and right."
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: After six top-10s, including a pair of runner-up finishes and one third, Matt Every is clearly a victory waiting to happpen. Putting four rounds together is key -- His final-round scoring average was 104th on TOUR this year.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: His wife, Danielle, weeks away from delivering the couple's first child, was in Every's gallery for all 72 holes as he posted his first runner-up finish of the season at the Valero Texas Open. He missed a birdie putt on the 72nd hole that might have forced a playoff. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Matt showed up at The Sony Open with a huge black putter, and I couldn't tell if he was trying to make birdies or trying to kill something for dinner that night. He ended up sixth that week and went on to make almost $2 million. Matt made a lot of birdies all year long. A birdie every 3.85 holes was 13th best average on TOUR.-- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Resoundingly successful 2012 during which his wife gave birth to the couple's first child. Given that he admitted that he doesn't mind missing cuts -- he missed nine and withdrew once in 25 starts -- he can be a gamble in weekly formats, but he also peppered his résumé with six top 10s en route to $1.972 million. From our standpoint, he deserves to rank much higher than his spot in this feature, just stick with full-season games if you invest. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||T2||Valero Texas Open|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 15
Rounds played: 80
Top-10 finishes: 6
Money List rank: 40th
Driving distance: 136th
Driving accuracy: 104th
Greens in regulation: 68th
Strokes gained-putting: 87th
Scoring average: 77th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
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Following his opening-round 67 at the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Matt Every meets with the media and talks about not making any mistakes.
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Matt Every withdrew from The Barclays on Friday afternoon with a neck injury.
Every isn’t in danger of missing out on next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, though. He entered the week ranked 53rd in the FedExCup and was projected 75th when he withdrew. The top 100 in the standings at eligible to play at TPC Boston.
Every opened with a 75 on Thursday. He was 4 over for the day and had just hit his second shot from the fairway bunker at the ninth hole when he withdrew.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
It’s gotta be the shoes, right?
Tiger Woods’ magic returned last week at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance as he won for the 73rd time on the PGA TOUR, tying tournament host Jack Nicklaus for second all-time. You might have seen his amazing chip at the par-3 16th on Sunday.
From last week to three months ago during his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard to last summer, Woods has been wearing a new golf shoe – Nike’s TW ’13, inspired by Nike’s FREE technology.
Woods, a noted workout fanatic, asked his longtime apparel outfitter to design a golf shoe that gave him the same kind of performance and fit as the Nike FREE shoes he wears while exercising.
“I train with Nike FREE technology all the time,” Woods said. “I love training in it, running in it, lifting in it. So I asked, why can’t I play golf in it?”
The shoe the company devised – which Woods started wearing last summer and will available to the public on Friday -- features the new Nike Dynamic Fit support system, which the company said “delivers unprecedented strength-to-weight ratio and one-to-one fitted support.” Flywire-infused nylon straps extend from the footbed to the lacing system, securing the foot for an adaptive fit that provides stability with mobility.
“Now my feet are stronger and I feel more athletic,” Woods said. “These shoes provide freedom of movement and allow me to release more power through my swing.”
Woods has gravitated toward the white model of the shoe, though they’re also available in black. Manufacturers’ suggested retail price is $220.
IN TIGER’S BAG: During Woods’ pre-tournament chat last week on Google, he was asked whether he’ll take a 2-iron to the U.S. Open at Olympic Club. His answer was “absolutely”, though he noted it won’t be an automatic choice on the tight, sloping fairways at the San Francisco course.
“A lot of it depends on how Mike (Davis, USGA executive director) sets up the tees and how the wind’s moving, because there are a few opportunities to drive it down there,” Woods said. “But you have to have the right shape of shot. You’re firing into slopes, into the doglegs. It’s a golf course where you’ve got to have an overall game plan, but you’ve got to be very flexible and change it up.
“The ball’s not going to be flying very far, that’s something you have to take into account.”
SWAP: Matt Every drew attention in January at the Sony Open in Hawaii when he used a Black Hawk putter, a peculiar flatstick with a huge black head that looked vaguely like an old VHS tape stuck to a shaft. He finished T6 in the event and the putter was the talk of the equipment world for a couple weeks.
Well, you know how it goes sometimes with golfers and their putters. Every’s Black Hawk is on the shelf for now, replaced at the Memorial Tournament by an Odyssey ProType Tour Series No. 7. He finished T6 and finished 10th in the field in putts per GIR.
WINNER’S BAG: Woods at the Memorial
Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance:
Driver: Nike VR Tour (8.5 degree, Graphite Design DI 6X shaft)
Fairway wood: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15 degrees); Nike SQ II 5-wood (19 degrees)
Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Nike Method 001
Ball: Nike ONE Tour D