US golfer Matt Every (36) has as many PGA Tour wins as drug suspensions and feels the way he is being portrayed on his Google and Instagram is not genuine, not the real him.
“The marijuana stigma sucks. That’s less than a per cent of my life,” he recently said in an interview.
Every is very reticent to publicly comment on his alleged marijuana use – something that is understandable, but also unfortunate. Recently, though, he seems to have been a bit more outspoken with regards to the issue.
“I don’t like being known for the marijuana stuff,” Every says. “It sucks for me because I feel like I’m an extremely genuine person, but face-to-face interaction doesn’t carry as much weight as a Google search or an Instagram page. Google is basically snapshots of the shitty moments of my life. I don’t participate in social media because I think it’s disgusting but if I did, I could alter how I want people to see me. That, to me, is a major part of the problem in the world we live in. I’ll never understand the need for strangers’ approval. I just don’t feel it’s genuine to create a platform and try to portray my life a certain way. The stigma sucks. That’s less than a per cent of my life.”
A golfer likes grass
The unfortunate truth is that Every has as many PGA Tour wins (two) as he has suspensions linked to marijuana.
Ten years ago, Every was banned by the Tour for 90 days despite denying possession of marijuana in a hotel room. “It was a weird deal,” he recalls. “Wrong place, wrong time. I was a 25/26-year-old kid on Tour having some fun. I’m a way different person now.”
Every returned to win one of the PGA Tour’s biggest events, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, in 2014 and 2015.
The shadow of doubt is always with Every, though – especially evident after he was handed another three-month break last year. He had tested positive for cannabis, which was being used via prescription to treat psychological issues.
According to Every it was a “tired” and “lazy” anti-doping policy which triggered his ban.
“First of all, I’ve never done it when playing golf on the PGA Tour,” Every explains. “But anyone who says you can get an advantage has never done it. You can throw depth perception out the window, feel, touch, awareness, everything. You’d have zero chance. It’s a lazy argument.”
“I haven’t found anything else, really. Dealing with my thoughts is always going to be a challenge. I am not walking around stoned 24/7. It comes in waves. I think it’s the cleanest way to treat it, for sure, but I can’t stress enough that I’m not trying to be an activist for marijuana use.”
"I care a lot, about a lot of things. The way the world is just now, I struggle with the direction it's going."
Every is candid about his struggles. This transcends golf, a profession he admits can be both therapeutic and tortuous. “I go deep dark. Sometimes I can make myself feel terrible about the most innocent thing. I’ll feel guilty about anything; selling myself short, not being in my kids’ lives as much as I want to be. It’s a constant battle.