In golf, a fancy name for a do-over is a mulligan. But, there is no such term in the USGA rule book, nor is it found in BASS' tournament rules. According to these runner-ups in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race (and countless golfers worldwide), a mulligan would be priceless, especially since hindsight is always 20/20.
Where did it go wrong?
Todd Faircloth, 2nd place: "The last event (at Oneida Lake). I had a great year, made the Top 50 cut in the first ten events, had six Top 10 finishes, but I had my worst finish all year at Oneida."
Mike McClelland, 3rd place: "Day 3 all year long. Other than where I made the Top 12, I was poised to make it most times but took too much of a gamble and struck out. I learned that you can't win until you get to Day 4."
Skeet Reese, 4th place: "There wasn't one place where I can say it went wrong. There was something at every event that I could have done better. I found lots of fish but I just didn't execute when I needed to."
Alton Jones, 5th place: "First Wheeler then Buffalo sealed my fate. At Wheeler, everyone knows you fish the Decatur flats, but it was packed. I don't like fishing in a crowd, so I didn't go there. Big mistake. At Buffalo, I was feeling kind of lazy and didn't want to make the run to Dunkirk. That's where the guys who did best were. Between winning the Classic (which automatically gets me in next year's) and my body telling me to take it easy, I didn't go, but I knew I should have."
What would you do differently with a mulligan?
Faircloth: "In practice (at Oneida) I found fish deep. So when the tournament came, I went deep for the first two-thirds of the first day and got nothing. I limited shallow, but it was already too late. I waited too long to move. If I hadn't found those fish in deeper water, my whole mindset would have changed and I would have fished shallow more."
McClelland: "I'd go back and consider the strategy I played on Day 3, and I also would have had a better secondary strategy. The gambles I took led me away from the fish I had from the first two days; that kind of came back and bit me."
Reese: "Nothing. I go out and fish the best I can, and if that gets me first, great. If it gets me fourth, that's fine, too."
Jones: "I'd make the long runs to where the fish were and not have played it so safe since I have the 2009 Classic made."
What can you salvage from your finish?
Faircloth: "Being in contention all the way to the end is great; it was fun the whole way. I hope I can do it again next year, but win."
McClelland: "This has been my best, most consistent year since I've been on tour. I also made Top 50 and drew a check at every event. This year has been a year to grow on to hopefully put me in better position for next season."
Reese: "When you look at the stats and final standings, I did great. There are a lot of guys who would love to be where I am. Monetarily, I did okay. Performance wise, it was not good. There were too many times I could have done better, but I just didn't execute."
Jones: "Well, at the end I pulled it out at Oneida, which moved me up into fifth place. That netted me another $5,000."