Every takes lead at Sony
HONOLULU — Matt Every, finally making news for his golf, made the game look and sound easy Friday at the Sony Open.
Every closed with three straight birdies for a 6-under 64, giving him a two-shot lead over Carl Pettersson (67) and David Hearn, who kept the Canadian presence on the leaderboard with his second straight 66.
Brendon de Jonge shot 62 and Pat Perez was solid again with a 67 to finish three shots behind, along with Doug LaBelle, a Monday qualifier at the Sony Open for the third time. 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.
Every, however, dominated the day on and off the golf 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."
Graham DeLaet, the first-round leader at 63, had consecutive double bogeys at the start of his round and rallied for a 72, putting him five shots out of the lead.
The Kona wind that picked up slightly in the afternoon provided an unusual scene on the par-5 ninth. Firm fairways and a tail wind made the 504-yard play to an average score of 3.957 — and it's a par 5.
Erik Compton took advantage, hitting to 4 feet for eagle on his last hole to make the cut on the number at 1-under 139. Pettersson hit a big drive that left him only a sand wedge for his second shot.
At Johannesburg, England's Robert Rock shot a 4-under 67 on Royal Johannesburg and Kensington's West Course to take a one-stroke lead in the suspended second round of the Joburg Open.
Rock had an 11-under 132 total in the event sanctioned by the European and Sunshine tours. South Africans Jbe Kruger and Branden Grace were a stroke back after 66s on the West Course.
England's Jamie Elson, the first-round leader after a 63 on the West Course, was unable to start the second round before strong wind and heavy rain forced the suspension of play.
The final two rounds will be played on the East Course.