War on drugs a problem for pro golfer

Last week, the PGA Tour played the Sony Open in Hawaii.  In the midst of what was an otherwise uneventful week of rich golfers enjoying immaculate surroundings while playing for millions of dollars was Matt Every.  Every played well the first three days which brought him into the media tent and to an on-air interview with The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.

Every was arrested in 2010 for possession of marijuana.  The charges were eventually dropped and the case dismissed.  Apparently, this was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with regard to law enforcement.

While the PGA Tour has a drug testing policy in place and Every has not failed that we know of, and while he was undoubtedly found to have not broken any laws by officials of the courts, Every was suspended for 3 months from the PGA Tour for “conduct unbecoming.” Every had not won enough money up to that point in 2010 to secure his “card” (PGA Tour players keep their playing privileges by finishing in the top 125 on an annual money winnings list), so essentially, he was kicked off the PGA Tour.

In 2011, Every played well enough on the Nationwide Tour (a development tour that awards 25 PGA Tour cards every year to the top finishers) to regain playing privileges on the PGA Tour in 2012.  He was in the midst of capitalizing on that opportunity by possibly winning the tournament (a two year exemption and about a million bucks) or at least having a high finish – going a long way towards the money list for 2012 when all of the commotion occurred.

Stephanie Wei from weiunderpar.com takes us through the interview with Tilghman:

Asked by Tilghman to take us back to the time he was arrested and suspended, Every said:

“It was alright. 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 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.”

Tilghman: And what did you learn?

“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. I just like to live, and whatever happened, happened.”

And in another take, Tom Edrington from Bleacherreport.com takes a slightly more negative approach:

When Tilghman asked about that, he simply said: “I’m still the same guy.”

Nick Faldo, the analyst on the broadcast, didn’t let Every’s comments go unnoticed.

“I don’t think he did himself any favors,” Faldo said matter of factly after hearing Every’s comments.

The question now will be the tour’s response to Every’s claim.

Worse stuff than alleged marijuana possession?

Not sure we’ve heard the end of this one.

The PGA Tour is certainly one company that has concentrated on the image aspect of their product.  It goes without saying that this image includes a drug free atmosphere.  In fact, one might even say that the image it likes to project is almost a stuffy, squeaky clean, philanthropic, religiously involved atmosphere.  Never mind the number of bottles of 80 proof consumed at the numerous functions every week.

In what was a testament to speaking freely and honestly, Matt Every chose to go against the grain and it likely will cost him financially, if not professionally.  He didn’t just go the “Not P.C. route”, he flat out let some truth in reality fly.  Personally, I think he should be commended, but I doubt that is what happens.

In the end, Matt Every made an argument very familiar to liberty lovers.  What’s the big deal?  He doesn’t think any less of a person for using marijuana.  Heck, I can think of a lot worse going on too Matt.

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