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."