AOY Update: Evers easing up

PARIS, Tenn. — For the second straight tournament, Skeet Reese has missed the top-47 cut and, for the second straight tournament, Edwin Evers inches ever closer in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

What looked like a Reese landslide just a month ago has now gotten interesting, especially with Evers heading home to Oklahoma with only the Muskogee event remaining.

After Day Two, thanks to a jump to fourth place in the tournament, Evers has closed the gap to only 72 points.

Keep in mind these points are calculated after each day of competition and remain unofficial until the completion of the tournament. As anglers move up and down in the standings at Kentucky Lake, the effects can be seen in the TTBAOY race as well.

One angler making one of those moves has been Evers' brother-in-law Terry Butcher. He was 14th coming into Kentucky Lake and had moved up to sixth place thanks to a top-20 showing after Day Two and a few stumbles by anglers higher than he was. The big news with Butcher is that he is a favorite at the last event next week in Muskogee. He is one to watch as the TTBAOY race gets tight.

Other moves after Day Two include Tommy Biffle, who dropped from 12th to 17th place after finishing the day in 40th place. Two bits of good news for Biffle: he gets to fish again tomorrow and the next event will be back in his home state of Oklahoma that should set up to be a flipping paradise.

Bill Lowen also fell a spot to 13th, but like Biffle, should find Muskogee and the Arkansas River to fish to his strength.

The big mover today was Russ Lane, jumping from 23rd into post-season contention in 11th after a 26-pound, 3-ounce bag on Kentucky Lake has him sitting in the top-10. This is big news for Lane, who could easily be considered a heavy favorite to excel in Alabama should he stay in the top 12.

On the Classic bubble, Kelly Jordon's big day (and big bass) helped his cause. He leaped from 46th to 34th and into the Classic after a back-and-forth year. He's tied with Kevin Wirth, who dropped there from 31st place after a disappointing 55th-place on Kentucky Lake, a lake he has done well on in the past.

Also vying for Classic position is Boyd Duckett (36th), Clark Reehm (37th) and Cliff Crochet (38th). Crochet, leading the Rookie of the Year race, is trying to qualify for the New Orleans Classic in his backyard. He ended Kentucky Lake in 57th, which means he won't get to fish anymore this week. Muskogee becomes critical as the last chance for him to improve two spots and claim that last seat to the Big Easy.

Overall, Kevin VanDam maintains his ninth-place in the TTBAOY race after maintaining his lead on Kentucky Lake. Keep in mind though, that he earns 5 points for every day that he leads the tournament, plus he would get two bonus points heading into the post-season if he hangs on to win.