Monday, February 26, 2024

A Look Back at the Star-Studded Top 20

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To survive the top-20 cut at a Walmart FLW Tour event is an accomplishment in itself. It always takes a high caliber of angler to get there.

At Lewis Smith Lake for stop No. 2 of the 2015 Tour, however, the top 20 featured an impressive group of anglers who not only were top performers that particular week, but have been throughout their careers.

We broke down some of their stats to show you just how good this top 20 really was.

Career earnings – Prior to this event, the top 20 pros had combined FLW earnings of $19,890,481.25. They collectively added $419,000 at Lewis Smith. Among the pros in the top 20 were the two highest earners all time with FLW. David Dudley is tops, with $3,364,466.75. Scott Martin is second with $2,257,078.

Millionaires – Nine FLW millionaires finished in the top 20. The list: Andy Morgan, Anthony Gagliardi, Clark Wendlandt, Dave Lefebre, David Dudley, Luke Clausen, Scott Martin, Shin Fukae and Wesley Strader.

Tour champs – Combined, the top 20 pros have won 29 Walmart FLW Tour events. That includes Tour Opens, Tour Majors, Forrest Wood Cups and Lefebre’s win this time. Scott Martin tops the list with five Tour wins. Lewis Smith was Lefebre’s third Tour victory. He’s previously won at Old Hickory and Kentucky Lake. The full list of past Tour champs in the top 20: Tracy Adams (1), Matt Arey (1), Drew Benton (1), Luke Clausen (2), John Cox (1), David Dudley (4), Shin Fukae (2), Anthony Gagliardi (4), Dave Lefebre (3), Scott Martin (5), Andy Morgan (1), Wesley Strader (1) and Clark Wendlandt (3). Dudley has the most FLW wins as a boater across all circuits with seven.

AOY champs – Wesley Strader currently leads the 2015 AOY race with a one-point lead over Luke Clausen and a two-point lead over Zack Birge. All three finished in the top 20 at Lewis Smith. Former AOY winners in the top 20 included David Dudley and Clark Wendlandt, the only three-time AOYs, plus Shin Fukae, Anthony Gagliardi and Andy Morgan, the two-time reigning AOY.

The Rayovac FLW Series champ – Zack Birge was the only pro who made the top 20 who has also won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. He won the title last season. Birge was also the only rookie in the top 20.

Forrest Wood Cup appearances – The top 20 has a combined 136 Forrest Wood Cup appearances, though that includes appearances as a pro and co-angler. Take out the co-angler appearances, and that leaves 129 pro appearances. Andy Morgan leads the pack with 16, David Dudley has 15, and Clark Wendlandt and Scott Martin have 14. One of Martin’s Cup appearances was as a co-angler. Other members of the top 20 who’ve fished the Cup as a co-angler include Anthony Gagliardi (1), Clayton Batts (2) and Matt Arey (3).

Forrest Wood Cup champions – Four former Forrest Wood Cup champions made the top 20. The list includes reigning champ Anthony Gagliardi, plus David Dudley, Scott Martin and Luke Clausen.

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