As is frequently noted to prevent confusion, Angler of the Year points aren't earned until a tournament ends. AOY points are based solely on an angler's place in the final standings. However, the tournament has ended now for Clark Wendlandt, Cory Johnston and David Mullins, who were first, second and third, respectively, after Santee Cooper.
David Mullins, the 38-year-old Mt. Carmel, Tenn., angler, will be the AOY leader going into the final tournament of the season at Lake Fork in November. Mullins finished 18th yesterday and has 623 points. Wendlandt and Johnston missed the top 40 cut and finished 81st and 67th respectively. Wendlandt is now third, 16 points behind Mullins, and Johnston dropped to 7th, 39 points back of Mullins.
Elite Series rookie Austin Felix, 36, from Eden Prairie, Minn., is second in AOY points based on his making the top 10 cut today. He'll have 613 AOY points if he finishes 10th today. Theoretically, he could tie Mullins with 623 points provided he wins the tournament. But he's starting the day 13 pounds, 10 ounces behind leader Lee Livesay.
Today's top 10 final at Chickamauga could have some bearing on the Elite Series Rookie of the Year race. Felix has a 20-point lead over Kyle Welcher based on the Day 3 standings. Welcher, Felix and Bill Lowen tied for 9th place in the Day 3 standings, so 9th through 11th place were decided by the tiebreaker - biggest one-day bag. Welcher had 14-9 on Day 2, Felix had 14-1 on Day 2 and Lowen's big bag was 10-7 on Day 1.
Felix has expressed his desire to win the Rookie of the Year title, saying, "You only get one chance to win Rookie of the Year."