Mark Rose still controls his own destiny in the 2018 FLW Tour Pennzoil Marine Angler of the Year race, but he’s not working with as much of a cushion after the first day of action on Lake St. Clair. And what seemed like an infallible lead now feels slightly vulnerable going into Friday’s second day of competition.
Rose weighed in 18 pounds, 8 ounces on day one. An 18-8 limit is nothing to sneeze at, but on St. Clair, everybody catches them. Rose wound up in 60th place, and the three guys behind him in the AOY standings really showed out.
Here’s a quick rundown of the situation with the top five in the AOY standings:
Place – Angler – Points coming into St. Clair – Deficit
1. Mark Rose – 1,074 – n/a
2. Scott Martin – 1,010 – 64
3. Bryan Thrift – 1,002 – 72
4. Chris Johnston – 989 – 85
5. John Cox – 984 – 90
Martin opened the tournament in 16th place, Thrift in sixth, Johnston in seventh and John Cox in 41st.
If the derby ended today, Rose would be 18 points ahead of Thrift, 20 ahead of Martin, 32 ahead of Johnston and 71 ahead of Cox.
Points essentially equate to places in the standings. So, as an example, Thrift would need to increase the lead he has over Rose in the St. Clair standings by 19 more places tomorrow to move into first place in AOY standings. Which is where it really gets interesting. Thrift can't move 19 places up the standings, but the weights are incredibly tight on St. Clair and that margin could open up if Rose slips on Friday. There are 46 anglers within a pound of Rose in either direction in the St. Clair standings, and 27 of those pros trail him by no more than a pound. Had Rose weighed in 8 ounces less on day one, he’d be tied with Larry Nixon for 79th place in the St. Clair standings and unofficially trailing Thrift in the AOY standings by 1 point. That’s right … Rose is hanging on by a half a pound.
Tomorrow is going to be interesting. It’s Rose’s to win, but he can’t afford a slip-up on day two with these hammers on his heels and weights so tightly packed together.
Thrift sets another consecutive limit benchmark
On day one at Lake St. Clair, Bryan Thrift weighed in a five-bass limit worth 23 pounds, 2 ounces. It’s Thrift’s 58th consecutive limit in FLW Tour competition (including the Forrest Wood Cup). He already broke the FLW Tour record for consecutive limits earlier this season at Lake Cumberland, and every day since then he’s added to his total.
Per well-known bass fishing stats guru Ken Duke, today Thrift also surpassed Kevin VanDam’s Bassmaster Elite Series record of 57 consecutive limits, which spanned from day one of the 2008 Kissimmee Chain event to day three of the 2009 Mississippi River event in Iowa.
So, there’s Joe DiMaggio with 56, VanDam with 57 and Thrift with 58. What a bunch of hammers.