Never has there been a better ending to a season that began with devastation. At this point, we all know Anthony Gagliardi’s story. He was disqualified from the season opener on Lake Okeechobee. His odds of making the Forrest Wood Cup were slim to none. But Gagliardi overcame those odds. At a near record-setting pace, Gagliardi clawed back for five tournaments, sneaking into the Cup field by one place in the Angler of the Year standings.It was a storybook tale, and tonight, Gagliardi wrote the final chapter.
In front of a packed hometown crowd at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C., Gagliardi stunned the bass-fishing world with a final-day limit of 13 pounds, 14 ounces that bumped his tournament total to 51 pounds, 2 ounces – just 1 ounce more than Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury’s final weight. For his victory, Gagliardi was handed a $500,000 check from Forrest L. Wood.
From out to in by one place; from the middle of the pack to champion by 1 ounce – Anthony Gagliardi is the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup champion.
Check back soon for the full story of Gagliardi’s Cup victory.
Today’s final weigh-in was a nonstop parade of lead changes and close calls. Steve Kennedy shocked the crowd by weighing in first with 20 pounds, 2 ounces, the tournament’s biggest limit. His four-day total reached 50 pounds, 7 ounces for the early lead.
Casey Ashley soon followed with 14 pounds even, tying Kennedy and taking the lead via tie-breaker because of his higher spot in the standings on day three.
The next leader was Canterbury, who lamented the loss of a 5-pounder but exploded with excitement when his final weight of 51 pounds, 1 ounce gave him a narrow lead.
But it only lasted so long. Gagliardi weighed in, snatched away the lead and survived to the end when Bryan Thrift and Brent Ehrler weighed 5 pounds, 8 ounces and 11 pounds, 10 ounces, respectively.
The Top 10
1: Anthony Gagliardi, 51-2
2: Scott Canterbury, 51-1
3: Brent Ehrler, 50-11
4: Casey Ashley, 50-7
5: Steve Kennedy, 50-7
6: Matt Herren, 48-0
7: Bryan Thrift, 44-6
8: Michael Wooley, 43-4
9: Scott Martin, 35-13
10: Jacob Wheeler, 33-7
For full results, click here.