2006 Major - Memorial Eagle Mountain Lake - Ft. Worth, TX, May 18 - 21, 2006

Bassmaster Memorial anglers prepare to battle

$250,000 payday for the winner

Editor's Note: For the first time, ESPN is providing same-day coverage of a non-championship BASS event. Tune into ESPN2 at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, to catch all of the action from the first Bassmaster Major, the Bassmaster Memorial, in Fort Worth, Texas.

CELEBRATION, Fla. — With the hodgepodge of benefits that come along with qualifying for the Bassmaster Majors, anglers have had a tough time picking their favorite. Along with same-day television coverage on ESPN2 for the first time at a regular season event, the Majors offer a $250,000 payday, two reasons why CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series anglers are anticipating the no-entry fee events.

"The Majors are going to be mind-blowing," said Alabama's Randy Howell, who qualified for the first upcoming Bassmaster Major by placing 29th in a three-year combined CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. "There should be a carnival-type atmosphere similar to the Classic."

The Elite 50 events held in 2004 and 2005 served as a pre-cursor to the new and improved Majors. Unanimously, the 56 anglers who are participating in the Bassmaster Memorial on May 18-21 in Fort Worth, Texas, on Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Worth, are ecstatic about the overhaul.

"The Majors offer a great format," Oklahoma Elite angler Kenyon Hill said. "Plus, the prize money is fantastic and I am all about the money."

Anglers will fish Eagle Mountain Lake on Days 1 and 2 and then switch over to a six-hole course on Lake Worth on Days 3 and 4. Anglers also will fish from their own wrapped boats on all four days of competition, offering unmatched exposure for their sponsors and individual brands. ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of the event on Sunday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET.

Going into the Pride of Augusta presented by Lowrance - the fifth Elite Series event of the season - only three anglers had cemented their status as Majors participants. 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champ Kevin VanDam, 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens and 2005 Toyota Rookie of the Year Dave Wolak qualified via their previous achievements.

After the Elite event on Clarks Hill Lake, a number of anglers ensured their Majors inclusion with a solid performance. Howell, for example, posted a fifth-place finish at Clarks Hill, putting him safely in the top 40 combined Angler of the Year rankings.

Also qualifying for the Majors are the top 10 anglers from the BASS all-time money list. Steve Kennedy, currently leading the Toyota Rookie of the Year race, qualifies as well. North Carolina angler Dustin Wilks qualifies under a previous announcement.

Qualifying under BASS' hardship policy is Kentucky angler Mark Menendez. Menendez incurred incapacitating injuries over the past year which prevented him from competing in regular-season, Elite-level events. Therefore, his rankings were recalculated and he finished in the top 40 Angler of the Year rankings.

A complete list of qualifying anglers is below.

"Only at BASS can you fish for $250,000 and not pay an entry fee," Missouri angler Mark Tucker said. "I am so pumped for the Majors and the Memorial waters suit my style of fishing."

Daily tournament weigh-ins begin at 3:30 p.m. CT, May 18-21. The final day's weigh-in will include same-day coverage on ESPN2, May 21 at 7 p.m. ET.

2006 Majors qualifiers

After Clarks Hill Lake, Ga. May 7, 2006

2005 Classic Champion: Kevin VanDam

2005 Angler of the Year: Aaron Martens

2005 Rookie of the Year: David Wolak

2006 Rookie of the Year Leader: Steve Kennedy

Top 10 All Time Money

Place  Angler Name             Winnings

 

---------------------------------------

 

1. Denny Brauer             $1,965,251.71

 

2. Rick Clunn               $1,720,044.53

 

3. Gary Klein               $1,376,474.97

 

4. Shaw Grigsby, Jr         $1,317,105.23

 

5. Davy Hite                $1,215,650.00

 

6. Zell Rowland             $1,035,915.90

 

7. Michael Iaconelli          $974,329.00

 

8. Takahiro Omori             $968,593.00

 

9. Peter Thliveros            $905,439.00

 

10. Alton Jones                $893,479.17

 

 

 

Top 40 2004, 2005, 2006 Angler of the Year Combined Standings

 

 

Place  Angler Name                 Total

 

----------------------------------------

 

1. Greg Hackney                      9

 

2. Skeet Reese                      28

 

3. Tim Horton                       54

 

4. Terry Scroggins                  55

 

5. Kevin Wirth                      56

 

6. Gerald Swindle                   60

 

7. Edwin Evers                      68

 

8. Mark Tucker                      69

 

9. Kelly Jordon                     77

 

10. Bernie Schultz                   85

 

11. Jason Quinn                      90

 

12. Dean Rojas                       93

 

13. Marty Stone                      94

 

14. Ishama Monroe                   104

 

15. Jeff Reynolds                   114

 

15. Lee Bailey                      114

 

17. Scott Rook                      117

 

18. Brent Chapman                   127

 

19. Jimmy Mize                      128

 

20. John Crews                      129

 

21. Tommy Biffle                    130

 

22. Mike McClelland                 147

 

23. Mike Wurm                       150

 

24. Brian Snowden                   157

 

25. Kenyon Hill                     160

 

26. Mark Tyler                      161

 

27. Jeff Kriet                      163

 

28. Matt Reed                       172

 

29. Randy Howell                    173

 

30. Chad Brauer                     175

 

31. Paul Elias                      179

 

32. Mike Reynolds                   181

 

33. Guy Eaker                       187

 

34. John Murray                     193

 

35. Todd Faircloth                  197

 

36. Charlie Hartley                 205

 

37. Brooks Rogers                   230

 

38. Yusuke Miyazaki                 231

 

38. Morizo Shimizu                  231

 

40. Stephen Browning                237

 

 

 

* Mark Menendez qualifies under BASS' hardship exemption granted because of an incapacitating illness.

 

* Dustin Wilks qualifies based on a previous announcement.

 

Local sponsors include the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, visit http://www.FortWorth.com.

 

Sponsors of the Bassmaster Majors include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advance Auto Parts and Theraseed®.

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