Although Brent Chapman is taking a lot of the drama out of the AOY race this week by doing so well in the tournament, this has still been a very close battle. You'd have to go back to at least 2009 to find one that was this close.
This year, just 2.30 percent separated the top two anglers (Chapman and DeFoe) coming into the finale. In 2009, the gap was less than 1 percent, but the eventual AOY would be decided in a postseason format that we no longer have. That means you've got to go back to 2008 to find an AOY race this hotly contested. That year, Todd Faircloth led Kevin VanDam by less than 1 percent in points. The finale that year was also on Oneida, and Faircloth had a chance to close things out, but he struggled and finished a very disappointing 93rd while KVD was 38th. It was the first of VanDam's record four-in-a-row AOY titles.