Ott DeFoe leads Bassmaster Rookie of the Year race

Ott DeFoe, 25, of Knoxville, Tenn., is the top rookie after the first two events of the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series.

Ott DeFoe

Ott DeFoe, 25, of Knoxville, Tenn., is the top rookie after the first two events of the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series.

Last Sunday, DeFoe advanced from third place to lead the season's 15 rookies with 454 points. His 28th-place finish at the Power-Pole Citrus Slam, combined with his 20th-place finish the week before, put him in the lead.

Second among the rookies is Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas, with 415 points. Jonathon VanDam, 22, the rookie leader after the first event of the season, now is third with 409 points.

Within the full field of 99 Elite Series pros, DeFoe is 19th; Combs is 25th; and VanDam is 29th. At the moment, their positions make them the most likely rookies to earn a 2012 Bassmaster Classic berth and a spot in the postseason. After eight regular-season events, the top eight pros of the entire field will advance to the postseason; the top 28 in points will earn Classic berths. 

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