It has been a difficult year for Matt Every. The two-time Arnold Palmer Invitational winner has made just two cuts in 21 events, finishing no higher than 62nd in either. He's made less than $35,000, missed his last six cuts, and hasn't finished inside the top 25 since the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open. While his bogey-free six-under 64 on Thursday at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn., is only one round, it's a giant step in the right direction and one he desperately needed.
Every hasn't been the definition of steady in 2017, but today's round was very efficient. He made two birdies on the front, a third on the par-4 12th, and then an eagle on the par-5 16th after putting his 237-yard approach shot to inside 10 feet. One more birdie on the 18th capped off his day, tying him for the lead at six-under at the TPC Southwind.
Joining Every atop the leader board are 2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink, Scott Brown and Sebastian Munoz of Colombia. Cink, 44, is enjoying a resurgent season, having already finished in the top 25 eight times and top 10 twice. He's still in search of his first victory since his major championship breakthrough at Turnberry.
Brown, who has finished in second twice this season, had seven birdies, including four straight to close out his front nine. He's looking for his second victory on the PGA Tour.
Perhaps no name is as surprising as that of Munoz, whose 64 was also bogey-free. The 24-year-old is playing in just his 10th event as a PGA Tour rookie, with his best finish coming at the Valero Texas Open at T-27.
While unexpected names lead the way, a few major champions are lurking close behind. Charl Schwartzel, who's gearing up for next week's U.S. Open, posted a five-under 65 in his opening round. Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen is one behind him after carding a four-under 66.