If you like suspense, you’ll have it this weekend. The 2018 FLW Tour Pennzoil Marine Angler of the Year race will not be settled until at least Saturday, and possibly Sunday, as FLW Tour stop No. 7 presented by Mercury on Lake St. Clair advances to the cut rounds.
Mark Rose, the official AOY leader coming into the tournament, needed to finish 64th or better to lock up AOY today. He came close. Rose finished 67th with a two-day weight of 36 pounds, 8 ounces. Rose’s official AOY point total is 1,208.
The only person who could earn more points than Rose is Scott Martin, who made the top-30 cut in 11th place with 42-4. Bryan Thrift and Chris Johnston, who were third and fourth coming into the tournament and also made the cut, cannot finish far enough ahead of Rose at St. Clair to catch him in AOY.
If Martin wins the tournament, he’d beat out Rose for AOY with 1,210 points. If Martin finishes second, he’d win AOY with 1,209 points. If Martin finishes third, he and Rose would end up tied with 1,208 points.
The first tiebreaker for AOY is total weight caught during the season. Rose finished the year with 332 pounds, 9 ounces. Martin currently has weighed 289 pounds, 3 ounces. That’s a difference of 43 pounds, 6 ounces in Rose’s advantage. Of course, to finish in the top three at St. Clair, Martin would have two more days to fish, and catching 43-7 over the course of two days is certainly manageable with the way St. Clair is fishing.
Martin currently trails Chad Grigsby, the tournament leader, by 7 pounds, 13 ounces. He trails third-place pro Darrel Robertson by 4 pounds, 5 ounces.
If Martin misses the top-10 cut on Saturday, the race will be over. But if he makes it to Sunday, it'll prolong the AOY suspense by one more day.
It can’t get any wilder than this.