Edwin Evers is having one of the best years of his career in 2013 and appears on the fast track to winning Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year. In the middle of the fifth event in an eight tournament season, he leads his closest challenger (seven-time AOY Kevin VanDam) by 33 points. Skeet Reese is just four points back of VanDam.
The lead is a healthy one to this point in the season. The best way to look at it is to say that KVD has just three chances (in the final three events -- plus today and potentially tomorrow) to outplace Evers by 33 positions, or roughly 11 places in the standings each tournament. That won't be easy. Evers is absolutely one of the most talented pros on the circuit, and this is not his first rodeo. He finished second to VanDam in the AOY race in 2010 and 2011.
One thing I can assure you of is that KVD is working hard to help close that gap — even a little — as he fishes the Alabama River today. And despite the fact that he's in 30th place while Evers is in third, the swing advantage actually belongs to the Kalamazoo Kid.
The reason is pure math. KVD is in 30th. That means he could conceivably pick up 29 additional points over the next two days if he does the improbable, qualifies for the finals and then wins. Even if he doesn't manage that (and the odds are greatly against it), he could move up five or 10 places today and gain that many points on Evers in the process. Reese is in much the same situation in 26th place.
Evers, however, is in third place at this event. That doesn't leave him very much ceiling room to move up. Yes, he could still win this tournament (and I think he has a great chance to do just that — he's been a model of consistency on the river), but that would only mean two additional points. So, Evers could actually win this event and watch VanDam and Reese gain ground on him in the AOY standings over the next two days.
You have to like Evers' chances of winning AOY this year. He's fishing extremely well and has that otherworldly focus it seems to take to win championships. For now, he "controls his own destiny" as analysts in other sports are fond of saying when one team or athlete can earn a championship by winning out.