It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series that the Toyota Angler of the Year race, like everything else this season, has come down to the final day.
Remember how the season began? Rick Clunn came from 8th place - 11 pounds, 13 ounces, out of first - caught two 9-pound bass in the afternoon, weighed 34-14 on the day and won the Elite Series opener at Florida's St. Johns River.
Two tournaments in a row, an angler came from 10th place on the final day to win. First, Jamie Hartman did it at Alabama's Lake Guntersville, then Micah Frazier did it at the St. Lawrence River.
And five of the nine regular-season Elite Series events were decided by ounces. To repeat, 5 of 9 four-day tournaments were decided by ounces:
1) Paul Mueller edged Chris Zaldain by 14 ounces to win Georgia's Lake Lanier.
2) Stetson Blaylock won at South Carolina’s Winyah Bay by 9 ounces over Scott Canterbury.
3) Hartman won at Lake Guntersville by 6 ounces over Zaldain and Matt Arey.
4) Frazier topped Chris Johnston by 14 ounces at the St. Lawrence River.
5) Hartman did it again, this time at New York’s Cayuga Lake, catching a 4-pound bass in the last half-hour to edge Jeff Gustafson by 10 ounces.
So, yes, of course, the 2019 season has come down to this: A Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race when four anglers – Canterbury, Zaldain, Blaylock and Cory Johnston - are still in the mix for the AOY title on the final day of the 2019 season.