With 4 of the 6 tournaments for 2017 in the books the race for the #WTKF AOY crown and the Feel Free Lure 11.5 donated by Happy Trails Outdoor Goods & More could get hotter than San Angelo on July 22nd. There are only a handful of anglers that could statistically catch up to Shane Hunter and beat or tie him and they would have to pull off a “Blake Cline” to get it done. If this sounds eerily familiar to you it is because 2017 could end almost identical to the 2016 race.
Leading into the last two events of the #WTKF 2016 Trail Shane Hunter was sitting almost as comfortable as he is today. The big difference between 2016 and 2017 is it does look like he will get to fish the last two events in 2017 whereas in 2016 his schedule didn’t allow him to compete in the last two events.
Here is where it starts sounding like a 6am Alarm Clock blaring “I Got You, Babe” by Sonny & Cher. Both Blake and Clay did really well in the last two tournaments of 2016 to pass Shane by 1 point and end up in a tie for first. Blake won the last two events and Clay had two top 5 finishes. Blake and Clay settled the score with a fish off and Blake capped off the year with an exclamation mark tie breaker to ride off into the DFW sunset (we miss you Blake). Although Clay has had the most consistent year of any angler on the trail (three straight 4th place finishes) unfortunately even with two wins in the last two events he would still fall short of catching Shane. If your one of those saying “it can’t be done” you might want to think twice.
As for the Tournament of Champions invites to the Top 5 anglers I would say that door is wide open all the way down to anglers sitting in 20th place. It’s not going to be easy, but a couple top 3 finishes from several of the anglers sitting in as far back as 24th place could move them right up into a TOC invite.
Check out the updated AOY standings here and see how the leader board shuffled around a bit after the 4th event of 2017. Hope to see you all at Mackenzie and San Angelo. Until then tight lines.
If you want to see what it would take for you to catch up to Shane or make the top 5 play around with this excel spreadsheet. Upon opening make sure you enable editing and macros. It should prompt you to when you first open. Fill in the points you need to earn in column “I” (Mackenzie) and “J” (San Angelo) and it will auto sort what place you will be in. Have fun 🙂