With tough fishing like we have right now on Shelbyville, there’s opportunity to make up ground, but it won’t be easy because the fish are small. The bottom four or five anglers could have less than half the weight of the fourth place angler (the last man inside the cut), and that’s probably too much to overcome on Day 2.
By cutting all but the top four anglers, it takes focus off the top of the leaderboard — where Ott DeFoe is running away with things — and puts it squarely in the middle.
We don’t need to be paying attention to DeFoe right now. He’s cruising. It would be almost unfathomable for him not to make the top four and fish in the semifinals. The real story is in the middle — maybe fourth place through eighth place right now. That’s where things are happening and every cast counts. Faircloth, Swindle, Reese and VanDam look to be in a real battle for that fourth position. It won’t be decided today, of course, but being inside the cut position at the end of the first day will be a relief to four anglers and a real concern to eight others.