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Stage set for sponsor-team showdown

Stage set for sponsor-team showdown
Fifth place in the Pro Division and $7,500 went to the only Minnesotan in the finals, Jim Moynagh of Carver. He caught 11 pounds, 3 ounces.

With the 2004 FLW Tour season near on the horizon, FLW Outdoors sponsor teams are gearing up for another year of exciting competition. Team Lawry's was the flavor of the year in 2003, landing the top spot among the dozen teams competing in the unofficial rivalry. Which team will earn the coveted sponsor title in 2004 is anyone's guess, but one thing is certain: The contest will provide a noteworthy challenge for participating anglers.

During the upcoming season, there will be 13 teams vying for the title, including a few new teams and several fresh faces. The sponsor teams competing on the 2004 FLW Tour comprise a virtual "who's who" of world-class bass anglers with star-studded rosters that include the likes of two-time Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt (Team Kellogg's), 2003 FLW Tour champion David Dudley (Team Castrol) and 2002 FLW Tour champion John Sappington (Team Snickers), to name just a few.

Ready to throw down the gauntlet in 2004 are the following sponsor teams:

1. 7 Up
2. BFGoodrich
3. Castrol
4. Energizer
5. Fujifilm
6. Kellogg's
7. Land O'Lakes
8. Lawry's
9. Ozark Trail
10. Pedigree
11. Skippy
12. Snickers
13. Tyson

Points in the 2004 sponsor-team race will be earned during the FLW Tour's six qualifying events and monitored throughout the season. Sponsor-team standings are based on the average number of points earned by the anglers fishing for any given team as assigned in the FLW Tour's Angler of the Year competition. The first qualifying event of the season is scheduled to take place Jan. 21-24 at Florida's Lake Okeechobee.

The sponsor-team race in 2003 proved to be as unpredictable as it was exciting. Team Snickers dominated the competition for more than half the season, managing a viselike grip on the No. 1 position that stretched across the first four tournaments: Lake Okeechobee, Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Murray and Beaver Lake. The strong showing was anchored by consistency among team members and boosted by such standout performances as Pat Fisher's victory at Okeechobee; 17th- and 21st-place finishes by Sappington at Beaver Lake and Atchafalaya Basin, respectively; and Chris Baumgardner's 20th-place finish at Okeechobee.

But all good things must come to an end - at least so goes the saying - and Snickers' reign over the sponsor teams ended when Team Stanley wrenched away the top spot after the Kentucky Lake contest in May. The Stanley anglers fished well throughout the season, led by first-class performances from Scott Martin and Jack Bell, but the final victory lap would not be theirs to run.

In true David-and-Goliath fashion, Team Lawry's sprung to the top of the pile after a relatively fruitless first half of the season. Lawry's earned a place on the sponsor-team map after the final regular-season event held in June, knocking the sponsor-team stalwarts of Team Stanley into second place. Fishing for Lawry's, Jim Moynagh reeled in formidable finishes at both Beaver Lake, fourth place, and the season-ending Wheeler Lake, 26th, to earn the sponsor-team title for 2003.

Final standings for 2003 were established, based on total average points for each team, after results for all sponsor teams had been tallied at season's end:

1. Lawry's - 788 points
2. Stanley - 762.75
3. Fujifilm - 757.67
4. Kellogg's - 734.4
5. Snickers - 724
6. Castrol - 683
7. Hellmann's - 660
8. 7 Up - 612.33
9. Land O'Lakes - 593.25
10. Banana Boat - 592
11. Skippy - 577
12. Lipton Sides - 239

Tags: patrick-baker  press-release 

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