Just as the eventual Toyota AOYs started the season on the right foot, all of them were pretty strong in the finale, too. In fact, none of them missed the first cut in the final tournament of the season. The worst finish was 41st out of 101 anglers by Michael Iaconelli in 2006. KVD was 38th out of 106 in 2008 — again, not bad at all. Three of the seven AOYs were in the top six and five were in the top 14.
If it means putting extra effort or practice into the last event, do it. If it means enlisting extra (and legal) outside help, get it. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as falling short at the finish line. If you leave something undone and wind up second, you’ll be kicking yourself all off-season.
Here are the season finale finishes for the seven AOY regular season leaders of the Elite era:
2006 – Michael Iaconelli – 41st
2007 – Skeet Reese – 14th
2008 – Kevin VanDam – 38th
2009 – Skeet Reese – 14th
2010 – Skeet Reese – 2nd
2011 – Kevin VanDam – 2nd
2012 – Brent Chapman – 6th
Keep the pressure on to the final cast and leave it all out there on the water. Most AOY races aren’t over until the final weigh in of the last tournament.