VanDam officially unofficial new AOY leader

GROVE, Okla. — Nothing is official in Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year points until the final standings are complete in a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament. It's a difficult point system to explain in a few words, but the winner of a tournament earns 300 points, and he can add a few more points to that total by being the tournament leader on any of the four days (five points per day).Although he hasn't won a tournament this season, Skeet Reese had been consistent in building a 113-point lead over Kevin VanDam, who was second, heading into the Sooner Run.

 However, Reese's lead is now officially gone. He finished tied for 67th place and missed Friday's cut. If VanDam had finished 13th and missed Saturday's cut, he and Reese would have been tied for first place with 1,721 points.

 But with VanDam in second place going into Sunday's final, the only question is how big a lead he'll have over Reese when the Sooner Run is over.As Jeff Kriet described him, VanDam is the Tiger Woods of bass fishing. There is nothing VanDam wants more than to add a fourth Bassmaster Angler of the Year title to his resume."There's VanDam and then there's four or five guys that are good," said Kriet. "(Mike) Iaconelli's good, Skeet's good."Iaconelli won last year's Angler of the Year title, after withstanding some heavy pressure from VanDam and 2006 Rookie of the Year Kevin Kennedy in the last Elite Series tournament of the season at Table Rock Lake in September.

 Kriet is trying to put himself in that company. Only Kriet and Jared Lintner, who finished 21st in the Sooner Run, have cashed a check by finishing in the top 50 of all seven Elite Series tournaments this season.Kriet hasn't won one. Sunday will mark his best chance ever.

 Editor's note: invited the University of Oklahoma bass fishing team to join coverage of the Sooner Run. The collegiate anglers will post a regular blog and appear on Hooked Up, the live Internet shows that air at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET on Sunday in advance of the live weigh-in. Bob Cobb, creator of Bassmaster Magazine and Bassmaster television, will be the special guest on Hooked Up.


Daily live weigh-ins and a realtime leaderboard will be at 4 p.m. ET. Please feel free to post comments to this blog via the ESPN Conversation feature at the bottom of this and every news page on this site.

Also By This Author