DeFoe can see hope in Palaniuk

Ott DeFoe seemingly exited the Angler of the Year race with his 99th place finish at the St. Lawrence River. No one has taken the AOY title with a tournament finish in the 90s. But there’s a first time for everything. While he’s got no margin for error this late in the season, DeFoe need only look at Brandon Palaniuk’s record for inspiration.

Based on the Day 2 standings here, Palaniuk is second in AOY points, only four back of leader Casey Ashley. That’s despite finishing 105th at Lake Okeechobee in the second tournament of the season.

Palaniuk has overcome that Florida disaster by being amazingly consistent in the other five tournaments, finishing no lower than 18th and making the Top 12 four times, including a win at Sam Rayburn.

The following is an event-by-event comparison of the top four anglers in the AOY race, based on the standings after Day 2 at St. Lawrence. It’s important to remember that the total points listed here aren’t final. For instance, leader Casey Ashley’s 619 points are contingent on him finishing in second place, where he started today. If he wins this tournament, Ashley would finish with 620 points. Any place less than second, and his 7-tournament total will be reduced accordingly when the points become official based on the final standings. 

Casey AshleyBrandon Palaniuk Kevin VanDam Jason Christie
Total Points:619615604596
1. Cherokee              61st12th62nd14th
2. Okeechobee          31st105th24th42nd
3. Toledo Bend       4th5th29th2nd
4. Ross Barnett          34th18th2nd27th
5. Sam Rayburn        13th1st52nd7th
6. Dardanelle            13th12th3rd72nd
7. St. Lawrence          2nd *       9th*   1st *17th *

* after Day 2 at the St. Lawrence River