Matt Every leads the Sony Open in Hawaii, but how he chooses to lead his life became a bigger story on Friday.
After Every turned in a 6-under 64 to take a two-shot lead at Waialae Country Club, Golf Channel host Kelly Tilghman asked him about his July 2010 arrest during the John Deere Classic on a charge of possession of marijuana and the subsequent three-month suspension from the PGA Tour for conduct unbecoming of a professional. Every said he pleaded not guilty and the charge against him was eventually dismissed.
“It was alright,” he said to Tilghman. “I just got three months off. It’s just golf. I don’t think I was doing anything wrong. It happened. I’m the same person, I have the same friends and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.
“There’s a lot worse stuff that goes on out here than what I got in trouble for, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
The suspension resulted in Every playing on the Nationwide Tour last season – penance enough, he said.
“I felt like my penalty for getting in trouble was not only the three months but being on the Nationwide Tour last year,” he said after the round, admitting the punishment 'probably' fit the crime.
'I'm not mad at the Tour. They did what they had to do. I totally understand it. But it's over with.'
The 28-year-old said the incident is not reflective of who he is.
“I feel like I’m the same person. I’m maybe a little more responsible, but I’m not a huge party animal — I’m married, I got a kid on the way,” he said. “I just like to live, and whatever happened, happened.”
In his post-round press conference, Every refused to condemn his behavior and friends.
“I still hang out with the same people. I have great friends. If one of my friends likes to smoke marijuana every now and then, I’m not going to say, well, you can’t be my friend anymore,” he said. “Honestly, man, I know more people who smoke marijuana than who don’t smoke marijuana. I know that’s probably not the politically correct thing to say, but it’s the truth. It’s not a big deal to me. Like I don't frown upon people doing that stuff. I don't do it, but I don't frown upon it. ”