Round one of the Sony Open at Hawaii presented the viewers with a wonderful story about Eric Compton, told by himself and awesome golf writer Tim Rosaforte. It was a touching story about how Compton has survived two heart transplants and is living the dream as a PGA Tour player today.
Second round became as embarrassing and awkward as the first was beautiful and life confirming.
Kelly Tilghman made sure of that.
With a powerhouse round of 64, young Matt Every had risen to the top of the leader board and afterwards found himself sitting beside Tilghman, being interviewed about the stunning score that put him in front.
However, Tilghman wanted the talk to be about something else. Trying to tell a Rosaforte-isk story about how Every was Lost in 2010 and now found via a stay on the Nationwide Tour in 2011, the Golf Channel anchor took the golfer and the viewers back to 2010, when Avery was arrested in a hotel after the first round of John Deere Classic.
The police smelled pot in the hallway and in the hotel room, and charged Every and his three friends with smoking marijuana. This was partly true as everybody but Every allegedly had smoked pot, and a few hours later the golfer was released and charges dropped.
However, the story in the press was another: Every had smoked some pot and was arrested. End of story. The rest of the facts were forgotten. Even the PGA Tour suspended him. No need to tell it was also the end of that season for Every.
Every made it back to the Tour this year through the Nationwide Tour. He made it to the top on the PGA Tour leader board as well. And he made it to the chair beside Tilghman. Sitting with a microphone in his hand the young golfer was portrayed – in his finest hour so far in his career – as a pot smoking moron, and not being able to handle the surprise, Every looked the part for a while. And Kelly – not interested in getting the facts straight for the viewers – made sure not to tell, that the charges was dropped.
This was a shameful moment.
Fact is that Every has fought to get back to where his career got sidetracked two seasons ago. Today, he is a husband and a farther to be. He is not a show man, not feeling comfortable in front of a camera. This was never brought to light in those moments with Tilghman, and afterwards all Sir Nick Faldo had to say was, that this guy needs a media advisor. That may be, but Tilghman needs some brains even more.
Fortunately, Every talked back the best way he could when he scored a 68 in the third round, finished the day tied for the lead with Jeff Maggert, and opted not to speak to Tilghman afterwards. Instead, the Golf Channel ran five minutes of leader board graphics until they went off air without a final interview with the man of the hour.
One can only hope Every takes the title in Honolulu this Sunday, and one can only guess if Tilghman will take Tiger Woods back to his 2010, when he embarks on his come back on Pebble Beach in a few weeks.