ORLANDO, Fla. – It took a return to a familiar venue for Matt Every to break out of a nearly year-long drought.
Every earned his first career PGA Tour victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2014, then surprised many when he successfully defended that title a year later. But quality results have been few and far between since then, and Every entered this week ranked No. 927 in the world, having missed 17 cuts (with one withdrawal) over his last 18 starts.
But after a 2-under 70 in the second round, Every is in at 1 under and will stick around to play the weekend for the first time since an 80th-place finish at the Shell Houston Open in April.
“I am a little relieved,” Every said. “I’ve been grinding for like a year. My attitude has been really good throughout this whole – whatever you want to call it. So I got a little bit of a break yesterday with the weather, and then I actually played pretty good today.”
Every continues to struggle with what he described as “kind of a yip” with his driver, where he nearly flinches at impact and sends tee shots sailing right. It’s been a concern for much of the two years, since Every last hoisted the trophy at Bay Hill, and one that is compounded by the fact that it rarely flares up during practice.
“That’s been the most frustrating part about this is, it’d be one thing if I was going out there and just having terrible warm-ups,” he said. “But my expectations have been high because of how I’ve been hitting it. It’s just, I kind of lock up on the tee sometimes over it and forget what I’m doing.”
While Every trails Charley Hoffman by nine shots, he’s happy to put his missed cut streak behind him and hopes to build on a result this weekend at a place where his career twice reached a pinnacle.
“It was going to happen eventually,” he said. “Sooner or later, somewhere. It just happened to be here.”