Matt Every, finally making news for his golf, made the game look and sound easy yesterday at the second round of the Sony Open in Honolulu.
Every closed with three straight birdies for a 6-under-par 64, giving him a two-shot lead over David Hearn (66) and Carl Petterson (67).
Brendon de Jonge shot 62 and Pat Perez was solid again with a 67 to finish three shots behind, while Steve Stricker made double bogey from a bad lie in a bunker that stalled his momentum. He had to settle for a 69 and was five shots back in his bid to become the first player since Ernie Els in 2003 to sweep the Hawaii events.
PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley shot his second straight 67. The former Hopkinton High star stood four strokes back.
Every, however, dominated the day on and off the course.
He made news in the summer of 2010 when he was arrested and jailed on a misdemeanor drug possession charge after agents were called to a casino hotel because of a strong odor of marijuana coming from the room he was in.
Every confirmed he was suspended for three months, returning in time for the last event, leaving him little hope of keeping his card.
The 28-year-old Floridian said he has put it behind him. He is married, and his wife is expecting their first baby in June. But it didn’t keep him from talking about how the case was handled, how he is perceived, and the company he keeps.
“I don’t do drugs. It was a crappy deal, man,’’ Every said. “Wrong place, wrong time, perfect storm. And you know, I got three months out of it. It’s over with. I’m not mad at the Tour. They did what they had to do. I totally understand it. But it’s over with.’’
Every said he is not a “party animal.’’
“I still hang out with the same people,’’ he said. “I have great friends, man. 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.’ 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.’’
As for golf, Every made it sound as though it was just another day on manicured fairways.
“Just played good,’’ said Every, who was at 10-under 130. “I just didn’t make many mistakes and made some good putts, hit some good irons, just kind of normal stuff.’’
His normal stuff was enough to put him atop the leaderboard through 36 holes for the first time on the Tour.
Graham DeLaet, the first-round leader at 63, played in the afternoon, had consecutive double bogeys, and shot a 72.
European - Robert Rock opened a one-shot lead in the Joburg Open in Johannesburg before thunderstorms interrupted play for a second straight day.
The Englishman shot a 4-under 67 to move to 11-under 132 after completing his first round in the morning. Jbe Kruger (66) and Branden Grace (66) were tied for second.