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YAMAHA PRO WENDLANDT, YAMAHA-POWERED BLAYLOCK CAPTURE FLW CROWNS AS SEASON CLOSES

Posted 7/16/2009

Clark Wendlandt Wins 2009 FLW Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year  Stetson Blaylock Wins 2009 FLW Pringles Rookie of the Year

Yamaha pro Clark Wendlandt won his third FLW® Tour Land O'Lakes® Angler of the Year title Sunday by finishing 7th in the season's final event at Lake Champlain in Plattsburg, NY. In the same event, Yamaha-Powered angler, Stetson Blaylock, captured the Pringles® Rookie of the Year honors.

Wendlandt Becomes Angler of the Year for the Third Time

Wendlandt, an FLW® Tour pro for 12 years and winner of three Tour events, became the first angler to capture three Angler of the Year awards; he won for the first time in 1997 and again in 2000 and has said winning the AOY title again was his primary goal this season.

The tightly contested Angler of the Year title, considered one of the most prestigious awards in professional bass fishing, literally lasted until the final afternoon on Champlain when Wendlandt defeated his closest competitor, fellow Yamaha pro Luke Clausen, by just five points. Clausen, winner of the 2004 Forrest Wood Cup FLW® Championship, finished 10th on the 271,000-acre lake along the New York/Vermont border. Another Yamaha pro, Brent Ehrler, leader in the Angler of the Year race heading into Champlain, finished 22nd in the tournament and fell to third in the final AOY standings.

During the final two days of the tournament, in which only the top 10 qualifiers fished, Wendlandt brought in 28-lbs., 7-oz. to Clausen's 20-2. Wendlandt gambled and made the 140-mile round trip boat ride to the southern part of the lake to catch heavier largemouths on Sunday while Clausen fished the northern portion of the reservoir for smaller but more dependable smallmouth bass.

Both pros agree the third day on Champlain, when strong southern winds churned the lake, may have actually decided the title. That day Wendlandt elected not to try to make the long run south and instead fished much closer to the launch area where he managed to bring in 12-lbs., 12-oz. Clausen, however, had an even slower day, bring just four bass weighing 7-1 to the scales.

Blaylock Earns Pringles® Rookie of the Year Title

Blaylock had an easier tournament, enjoying a 47-point lead in the Rookie of the Year race when competition began last Thursday. Although he finished 104th at Champlain, his points lead plus the points he earned were enough to give him the title after Friday's second round.

Earlier in the season, Blaylock, 21, became the youngest angler ever to win an FLW® Tour event when he took first place in the National Guard® Open on Lake Norman.