Matt Every to make TV debut for Golf Channel at RSM Classic: ‘I’m not afraid of anyone out here. So, I’ll say what I want to say’

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SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Matt Every strolled down the practice range at Sea Island Resort, wearing a white hoodie, dark shades and the look of a man without a concern in the world. Instead of gripping a 4-iron this week at the RSM Classic, he’ll be gripping a microphone and making his TV debut for Golf Channel as a guest on-course reporter.

The 37-year-old former Florida Gator star is starting a two-event tryout here and next month at the PNC Championship in Orlando after enduring a season in which he failed to make a cut in 22 starts on the PGA Tour.

“I think it’s going to be good for me to do something different,” he said. “I was going through the motions for quite a while. Mentally I wasn’t there. I think I became jaded and you can’t fake the hunger of a 25 year old who’s never tasted success before vs I’m 37 and not getting any younger. I already didn’t practice a lot and it probably caught up to me.”

Every said he got the idea of becoming a TV golf analyst after seeing the success of Colt Knost, one of his contemporaries, who retired as a player in January 2020 and made a seamless transition to the media world as both a podcast host and Golf Channel/CBS roving reporter.

“We’re very similar in a room,” Every said of Knost. “I’ve had some people whose opinion I value tell me that I’d be good at it and I think I could be. I’m a little different, I do have some edge to me but I’m not out of control, though. I know what’s right and wrong. And I’m not afraid of anyone out here. So, I’ll say what I want to say. I think some people might be afraid I will slip up and say something stupid, but those are people that don’t really know me.”

Every twice won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and more than $10 million in career prize money, but hasn’t made a cut since the Wyndham Championship in August 2020. He missed 20 cuts and withdrew twice in 22 starts last season, and withdrew from the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, his only 2021-22 start, last month.

“I don’t have it in me mentally to go grind on the Korn Ferry (Tour) for a year. There’s no chance,” he said. “That’s me being honest with myself. I don’t want to miss what’s going on in my kids’ lives and it wouldn’t work.”

Every said he’s not quitting golf, calling himself “a recreational golfer,” but isn’t closing the door on the PGA Tour should his competitive juices return. His past champion status should get him into a number of second tier events, what he dubbed “the island tour” – Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, for instance – and if he can earn enough to finish in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup standings, he would earn a berth in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.

Every always has been one of the more candid interviews, displaying a self-awareness absent in many players. He could be a breath of fresh air to the coverage if he can bring his no-nonsense assessment of his own game to the current players he’s competed against for years. Nearly a decade ago, Every was part of an awkward Golf Channel interview during the Sony Open at Hawaii when then-host Kelly Tilghman grilled him about being arrested for possession of marijuana.

“Yeah, that was awkward, but it was so long ago,” Every said.

Every said he will be shadowing either John Wood or Curt Byrum on Thursday and then the red light goes live on Friday. Golf Channel’s Steve Sands told him to be himself and fight the urge to over-talk.

“I’m hoping if it goes well,” Every said of the tryout, “someone will snag me up.”