Kevin VanDam quietly set another Elite Series record yesterday. He made the cut to the Top 50 for the 17th consecutive time. The record he broke was his own. KVD went 16 straight between 2008 and 2010 before having a couple of finishes in the 50s at Clear Lake and Pickwick. After that, he started the streak that's still alive.
So how often does KVD make that first cut that guarantees a payday? How about 93.44 percent of the time! In the 60 Elite Series events he's fished, he's only missed the first cut four times. Many — maybe even most — of the Elite anglers have suffered through a stretch when they were out of the money four straight times, but VanDam has missed four cuts in his entire Elite Series career.
That's a stat that shows how good this guy really is. Tournament after tournament, he makes cuts, earns prize money and puts pressure on his fellow competitors to keep up. He may not be a factor in this Toledo Bend event, but it's a lesson in consistency that even when he's not on top of his game, he never lets the lows get too low. And what's his worst finish ever in an Elite Series tournament? He was 59th at Clear Lake in 2010.
The only other angler who can compare with that is Ott DeFoe, who has only missed one first cut in his Elite career, finishing 58th on the Arkansas River last year. But DeFoe is fishing just his 13th Elite event, compared to KVD's 61 Elite Series tournaments. We'll have to see where he is in about five more years.