Kevin VanDam narrowly missed the finals at the Mississippi River. A tiebreaker put Steve Kennedy into the Top 12 and sent KVD on the road to Green Bay for next week's tournament. Nevertheless, this was the 18th consecutive Elite Series tournament in which VanDam made the cut into the money, and that's very impressive.
In Elite Series history (2006-'12), only three times has an angler made 15 or more straight cuts, and KVD has two of those streaks. Todd Faircloth has the other with 15. KVD's 18 in a row is a record.
VanDam is a good bet to close out the season with two more in-the-money finishes for a couple of reasons: (1) He's very good on the Great Lakes (Michigan) and solid on Oneida and (2) he's not going to give up his AOY run (four in a row and counting) without a fight. In fact, I give him a great chance to win the Lake Michigan tournament next week. It'll take a Top 5 finish there to put any kind of heat on the leaders at all, and KVD knows it. If he can do that, the AOY leaders will be like rookie receivers running patterns across the middle in the NFL. They'll be hearing footsteps.