Results: Day Three
TAVARES, Fla. Randy Phillips of Oxford, Mass., secured a berth in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic and the win in the 2009 Federation Nation Championship with his three-day total of 31 pounds, 1 ounce. For his win, Phillips will also take home a Skeeter/Yamaha rig valued at over $60,000.
"It feels great, I'm ecstatic," he said. "I could not have asked for a better tournament, everything turned out great and I'm very excited to go, this is my dream."
Phillips' 6-pound, 15-ounce stringer was enough to overcome Skip Sjobeck's one fish that left him in fifth in the tournament and second in the Eastern division.
Don Hogue of Pasco, Wash., claimed runner-up honors with a three-day total of 29-1 and earned a Classic berth from the Western division. Hogue retained his lead in the Western division to land a berth in his first Classic.
"This is surreal, it's something you dream about like you dream of going to the moon," he said. "I'm kind of overwhelmed, but I'm sure most of the guys are."
Hogue describes himself as a West coast guy, having never fished in Florida or in Alabama, where the 2010 Classic will be held.
In the Southern division, Brent Long of Cornelius, N.C., held on to his lead with five fish that went 7-3 on Day 3. Long will be fishing his second Classic, his first appearance being on Lay Lake the site of the 2010 Classic in 2007. Long was fourth in the tournament.
Jeff Freeman of Max Meadows, Va., held off Gerry Jooste of Harare, Zimbabwe, to secure his second Classic berth. He will represent the Mid-Atlantic division. Freeman placed seventh in the tournament.
Bryan Schmidt of Olney, Texas, will be fishing his second consecutive Classic after he bested Tom Jessop of Dalhart, Texas, and Samuel Anthony of Independence, La., with a day three stringer that weighed 8-11. Schmidt placed 12th in the tournament.
Finally, Jody Adkins of North Canton, Ohio, will represent the Northern division after placing third in the tournament and overcoming Brian Hensley of Edwardsburg, Mich., and Randy Wieczorek of Buffalo City, Wis.
The 2010 Bassmaster Classic will be held on Alabama's Lay Lake out of Birmingham Feb. 19-21 2010.