Chad Pipkens and, finally, Brandon Card are on the verge of making near-miraculous comebacks this season. It's not often that you can post two zero-AOY-points tournaments and still qualify for the Bassmaster Classic.
You get one AOY point for finishing 100th, and zero for anything below that in every one of the eight regular season events. Pipkens, who is currently atop the BASSTrakk leaderboard, finished 110th at both the Sabine River and Kentucky Lake. But he has closed with a flurry – finishing third at Chesapeake Bay and fourth at Lake St. Clair. He came in ranked 32nd in the AOY race, one point ahead of Card. He didn't need to have a great finish here to make the Classic, but he's putting one together.
Card was 103rd at Lake Guntersville and 105th at the Sacramento River. Then he posted finishes of 8th at Kentucky Lake, 4th at the St. Lawrence River and 18th at Chesapeake Bay until stubbing his toe at Lake St. Clair (72nd). Like Pipkens, he didn't need a great performance here to make the Classic. But with a zero on Day 1, Card was on the brink of disaster. However, with 13-pounds-plus today, he has put himself back in a good spot.
Good for them. It would have been a shame to see those great comeback efforts go to waste