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
The final group is off; now can anyone catch Ben Curtis ? Here’s a look at the contenders.
Every, a 2006 University of Florida graduate, is having the best year of his young career since becoming a member of the PGA TOUR in 2010 with three top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season. One of those came just last week with a tie for eighth at the RBC Heritage.
This also marks the 40th start of Every’s career, and he’s in search of his first win. His best finish so far was a tie for third earlier this year in Mexico.
He’ll need to play better than he has the last two days, however, when he failed to break par in the second or third rounds. Overall, though, he’s driving it well -- T9 in fairways hit -- and hitting a lot of greens -- T3 in greens in regulation. He is, however, just 46th in strokes gained-putting.
Five strokes will be awfully hard to make up on a golf course that has played two strokes over par through the first three rounds, unless Curtis starts going backwards.
But Wi has played well in this tournament in the past, tying for second in 2008 after a career-low tying 61 in the final round.
He probably won’t need to go quite that low here in the final round, but something in the mid-60s would go a long way.
In search of his second win, 21-year-old rookie Huh is coming off his best round of the week, a 5-under 67.
Earlier this year, Huh defeated Robert Allenby in sudden death at the Mayakoba Golf Classic to become 2012’s first rookie winner. Should he win this week, he would become fifth rookie to win multiple times in a season, dating to 1990. Most recently, Keegan Bradley achieved the feat last year, having won the HP Byron Nelson Championship and PGA Championship.
Rookie Seung-yul Noh made seven birdies on his way to a 4-under 68 in the third round, but like Wi and Huh, has five shots to make up.
Noh has won twice, overseas, however. On TOUR, his best finish of the year was a tie for 16th in Mexico.
One thing he’s had going for him this week: Putting. He’s fifth in the field in putts per green in regulation.
Twenty-five players returned to TPC San Antonio on Saturday morning to complete the second round, which was delayed Friday due to a two-hour weather delay.
Round 1 leader Matt Every finished the 17th hole with a birdie to get within two of the lead, but he bogeyed the 18th to finish at 7 under, three back of Ben Curtis, who finished Friday.
The cut remained at 4 over. Rookie Billy Hurley III holed a six-footer for par to make it on the number.
The winds are expected to make it rough on the leaders late Saturday, with wind gusts of around 20 mph.