The 10 world class anglers, together with the remaining 10 co-anglers, will compete Friday, for one day, with the top five professionals, based on Friday’s catch weight, advancing to Saturday’s final round. In addition to the $150,000 first place cash, the winning professional and co-angler receive berths in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, presented by CITGO, September 22-25, 1999, on Ft. Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma, where the winning professional will receive the largest cash award in fishing – $250,000.
David Walker of Cannon, Kentucky, is leading the Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year points race with 245 points. Points are awarded to anglers after the first two days of competition based on ranking at that time. Bernie Schultz of Gainesville, Florida, is following in second place with 209 points, Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, is in third with 196 points. The Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year will be featured on a special edition box of Wheaties later in the year. Co-angler competition will end Friday with the winner receiving $20,000.
Carl Maxfield of Summerville, South Carolina, landed a 6 pound, 5 ounce bass to win the Coca-Cola Big Bass award of $1,000. Coca-Cola will award $5,000 to the angler weighing in the biggest bass during the 1999 tour. Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minnesota, is leading the big bass contest with a 10 pound, 4 ounce bass, caught during the third tour event on Lake Lanier in Georgia. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Bentonville Wal-Mart Supercenter. Friday’s weigh-in will begin at 5:00 p.m. Saturday’s activities will begin at 11:30 a.m.
All tour events are scheduled to be televised on ESPN approximately two weeks after the tournament. The Wal-Mart FLW Tour Beaver Lake event will be televised on ESPN, May 8, 1999, at 2:00 Time EDT.
The highest-finishing Ranger boat owner in each tournament will qualify to enter the $3.5 million Ranger M1 Millennium tournament, the richest bass event in history, with a $1 million first-place cash prize at stake. The Ranger owner who catches the largest bass in each division over the course of the season will also qualify for the Ranger Millennium tournament to be held in November of 1999, at a location to be named.
Sponsors of the 1999 Wal-Mart FLW Tour include: Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Land O’Lakes, CITGO Petroleum Products, Chevy Trucks, Uniroyal Tires, Fujifilm, EverStart Batteries, Eveready Flashlights, Black and Decker, Coleman Company, Ranger Boats, Mitchell Rods and Reels, Spiderwire, Evinrude Outboard Motors, Evinrude Electric Trolling Motors, Eagle Electronics, Timex Expedition, Wrangler, Chex Mix, Hamburger Helper, and Wheaties. The Beaver Lake event of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour is hosted by the Bentonville Advertising and Promotion Commission.