Steve Kennedy was the picture of confidence Wednesday after practice, saying, "I know I've got a chance. I like what I've found. I feel like there's the potential for a 25-pound bag."
Even when they're feeling it, you don't often hear that kind of confidence expressed by any of these guys before a tournament. But Kennedy has been on a roll after a horrid start to the 2015 season. Anyone can stumble at the Sabine River, where Kennedy finished 91st in the season opener. But for an Alabama native, especially one as accomplished as Kennedy, to finish 102nd at Lake Guntersville? That could have been a crushing blow.
Since then, Kennedy has cashed a check in five straight tournaments. But as he is wont to do, there have been some white-knuckle finishes in the current streak, like 49th place at both the Sacramento River/California Delta and the St. Lawrence River, and 47th place at Chesapeake Bay. Kennedy's best finish this season was 18th at Lake Havasu, followed by 20th place at Kentucky Lake.
The streak has brought Kennedy from the depths of the AOY standings to contention for a Classic berth. But he still has work to do. Kennedy was 52nd in AOY points coming into this event. So far today, Kennedy's confidence appears well-placed. BASSTrakk shows him with 19 pounds, which has him among the leaders in fifth place.