Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 06/21/2017

Story by Matt Pangrac - photos courtesy of FLW Communications

With the final regular season tournament in the books, here are some note and statistics from the 2017 FLW Tour season:  

2nd, 2nd, 6th, 12th, 3rd, 59th, 48th – those were the finishes for Bryan Thrift during the 2017 FLW Tour season on his way to the second AOY title of his career, the first coming in 2010.   

After opening up a sizable lead in the AOY race after the midway point in the season, Thrift took home the trophy by 44 points over Andy Morgan despite finishing in 59th place and 48th place in the final two Tour stops of the season on the Mississippi River and Potomac River.    It was the lowest average finish in the final two events of a season in his FLW Tour career outside of his first two seasons on Tour in 2007 and 2008.  Even with the final two events included, Thrift still averaged roughly a 19th place finish in every tournament.    

When you combine the AOY check with his season earnings on the FLW Tour in 2017 ($225,500), Thrift averaged roughly $32,214 per regular season tournament.   

He fished a total of 23 competition days out of a possible 28, and brought in a five bass limit all 23 days on the water.  Over the course of the season, his average limit of bass weighed roughly 14 ½ pounds.  

Mark Rose kicked off 2017 with a well documented streak of back-to-back FLW Tour victories – an accomplishment that had never been done in FLW Tour history.  Even more shocking is the fact that Bryan Thrift finished in 2nd in both of Rose’s wins on Lake Guntersville and Lake Travis, meaning that Rose held just a two point lead in the AOY race after the first two stops of the year.  

Rose finished the season in 10th place in the final AOY point standings.  Even with the two victories, it was his fifth highest finish in the final AOY standings in his 19 year career on the FLW Tour.   After opening with back-to-back wins, he failed to make the Top 20 cut in any of the remaining five Tour stops.  

When Scott Martin won the third stop of the 2017 FLW Tour season on Lake Cumberland, he became the first angler in FLW history to win eight Tour-level events.  Interestingly, this season’s victory marked the first time in his 18-year FLW Tour career that Martin has won regular season Tour events in back-to-back seasons (he won on Champlain in 2016).  

With his 2nd place finish in the AOY standings, Andy Morgan stretched his streak of consecutive Top 10 finishes in the FLW Tour AOY standings to 11 seasons (it started in 2007).  Over the 11-year streak, Morgan has logged 22 Top 10 finishes in regular season competition compared to just 12 finishes below 50th place.  

2017 had four first-time Tour level winners including Bradley Dortch at the Harris Chain, Johnny McCombs at Beaver Lake, Bryan Schmitt at the Mississippi River, and Tom Monsoor at the Potomac River.  

The Tour win on Beaver Lake was Johnny McCombs’ first win with FLW at any level, while Bradley Dortch (Harris Chain) had one Costa Series victory to his credit before lifting the FLW Tour trophy in Florida.   

Schmitt’s Mississippi River win was the 10th of his FLW career that includes five Costa Series victories, and Tom Monsoor’s Potomac River win was the 7th FLW win of his career that includes five BFL wins and a Costa Series win.  

Heading into the sixth stop of the FLW Tour season on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Tom Monsoor was one of the heavy favorites.  All five of the Wisconsin pro’s BFL victories had come on the Mississippi River (four of them out of La Crosse), and his 2001 Costa Series win also came on the Mighty Mississippi out of La Crosse.  Monsoor struggled on his home water, however, finishing the tournament in 105th place – well behind eventual winner Bryan Schmitt.

Less than a month after the Mississippi stop, it was Schmitt’s turn to play the role of the favorite on the Potomac River.  The Maryland pro had three Costa Series victories on the Potomac River, and there was a real possibility that he could go back-to-back on the Mississippi and Potomac to close out the season.  Monsoor had other plans, though, as he lifted the trophy on the Potomac and Schmitt finished in 44th place.