Lo­cal an­gler Buddy Gross to com­pete as pro on 2019 FLW Tour

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - From press re­lease

Fish­ing League World­wide (FLW), the world’s largest tour­na­ment-fish­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion, an­nounced last Mon­day the com­plete pro­fes­sional an­gler ros­ter for the up­com­ing 2019 FLW Tour sea­son, the 24th sea­son of the FLW Tour.

The field will be show­cased along the 2019 FLW Tour, which fea­tures seven reg­u­lar-sea­son tour­na­ments around the coun­try with com­pe­ti­tion kick­ing off at Sam Ray­burn Reser­voir on Jan. 10-13 in Brooke­land, Tex., and cul­mi­nat­ing with the world cham­pi­onship of bass fish­ing – the FLW Cup – at Lake Hamil­ton on Aug. 9-11 in Hot Springs, Ark.

Among the 170 pro­fes­sional an­glers com­pet­ing will be lo­cal an­gler Buddy Gross of Chicka­mauga, who will be com­pet­ing in his fourth sea­son on the Tour. Gross has ca­reer earn­ings of more than $258,000 with FLW and has three ca­reer vic­to­ries in FLW com­pe­ti­tion, in­clud­ing a win at the FLW Tour at Pick­wick Lake in 2016.

There was enor­mous de­mand to com­pete on the 2019 FLW Tour, with 210 an­glers reg­is­ter­ing for a slot on the pres­ti­gious tour­na­ment circuit in its fi­nal year of pri­or­ity reg­is­tra­tion be­fore switch­ing to a strict qual­i­fy­ing process and a 150-pro field in 2020.

The top award at each Tour event is $125,000 with $300,000 go­ing to the win­ner of the FLW Cup. Since the fi­nal field ex­ceeds the pub­lished pay­out ba­sis of 150 pros, FLW will sur­vey all 170 par­tic­i­pat­ing pros to fi­nal­ize the 2019 pay­out struc­ture.

“With the de­mand we saw this year to join the FLW Tour, we couldn’t be more ea­ger to kick off an­other sea­son at Sam Ray­burn Reser­voir in Jan­uary,” said Bill Tay­lor, FLW’S Se­nior Di­rec­tor of Tour­na­ment Op­er­a­tions. “FLW has long been the home to some of the most dec­o­rated bass an­glers in the sport, and with the ex­panded live cov­er­age at all of our Tour events this year, we are more than ready to show off their skills at some of the best fish­eries in the world.”

The 2019 FLW Tour ros­ter is head­lined by a stout con­tin­gent of bass-fish­ing heavy­weights, in­clud­ing three-time An­gler of the Year (AOY) and 2003 FLW Cup cham­pion David Dud­ley of Lynchburg, Va., 2015 AOY and 2011 FLW Cup cham­pion Scott Martin of Clewis­ton, Fla., and two-time An­gler of the Year Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C.

They’ll be joined by bass-fish­ing leg­ends Jimmy Hous­ton of Cook­son, Okla., and Larry Nixon of Quit­man, Ark., as well as three for­mer FLW Cup cham­pi­ons – John Cox (2016), Brad Knight (2015) and Dar­rel Robert­son (2002). The 2019 Tour will also fea­ture 34 rook­ies from around the coun­try.

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