There’s mutual admiration between John Cox, who has led this tournament the previous three days, and Clark Wendlandt, who is currently leading after posting a big limit already today.
“If I can’t win it, I’d love to see Clark win it,” Cox said earlier this week. And in one sense, Cox owes one to Wendlandt. He edged Wendlandt by 7 ounces to win an FLW tournament at South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell in 2016.
Cox has been an admirer of Wendlandt’s much longer than it’s been mutual. Twenty years separates their birthdates. Cox was a 15-year-old dreaming of professional bass fishing when Wendlandt was featured on a Kellogg’s cereal box after winning the FLW Angler of the Year title in 2000. Cox tacked that cereal box to his bedroom wall.
When they met years later on the pro bass circuit, Cox relayed that story to Wendlandt, and he loves to share Wendlandt’s response: “That’s a little creepy.”
Cox bellowed with laughter after sharing that story. Yeah, I guess when most 15-year-old boys had posters on their bedroom walls of hot female models and actresses, having Clark Wendlandt’s Kellogg’s cereal box tacked there is “a little creepy.”