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JONES, JORDON LEAD YAMAHA PROS INTO BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR FINALS

Posted 9/14/2009

Veteran pros Alton Jones and Kelly Jordon lead a team of six Yamaha-sponsored pros who have qualified among the top 12 ranked anglers in the 2009 Bassmaster® Elite Series and will now compete in two special post-season events in September for the prestigious Angler of the Year title.

Jones, winner of the 2008 Bassmaster® Classic, finished third overall in the Elite Series, while Jordon finished fourth. Joining them are Todd Faircloth, last year's runnerup in the Angler of the Year race, who finished fifth; Mark Menendez, eighth; Cliff Pace, tenth; and Mike Iaconelli, who finished 11th in the season standings. Iaconelli won the Bassmaster® Classic in 2003 and claimed the Angler of the Year crown in 2006.

The two special post-season events are part of the Toyota® Trucks Championship Week scheduled Sept. 12-18 in Alabama. The 12 pros will fish Sept. 12-13 on Lake Jordan near Wetumpka and two additional days on the Alabama River in Montgomery.

"It's going to be exciting and I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Jones, who with his adjusted total of 198 points sits just seven points behind overall leader Kevin VanDam (205 points) and six behind second place pro Skeet Reese.

"The title is really open to anyone in the top 12 because of how tightly the adjusted points have closed the gap between all of us, and one bad fishing day out of the four will almost certainly eliminate an angler from any chance of winning. Practice is going to be critical, too, because most of us do not have that much experience on the two waters."

"I'm going to fish as hard as I can to win it," added Yamaha Pro Mike Iaconelli, who has 175 adjusted points in 11th. "I finished second in this year's Bassmaster® Classic and then second again in the FLW® Forrest Wood Cup, so I'm ready to give it all I've got."

In the final Bassmaster® Elite tournament of the season at New York's Lake Oneida, which concluded Sunday, Yamaha Pro Dean Rojas, who won the event in 2008, finished third, while fellow Yamaha angler Takahiro Omori finished 12th. While neither qualified for the Angler of the Year finals, both did qualify for the 2010 Bassmaster® Classic.