UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Wal-Mart FLW Tour adds National Guard Open, offers $9.5 million over seven events for 2007

Wal-Mart FLW Tour adds National Guard Open, offers $9.5 million over seven events for 2007
FLW Tour

LAS VEGAS - FLW Outdoors announced its 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour schedule June 20 in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and today released details at ICAST that include a $1.4 million boost to regular-season paybacks for an overall cash purse of $9.5 million, including the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup championship, which offers top anglers from the FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, TBF (The Bass Federation) and Ranger Owners' Tournaments a shot at an astonishing $1 million payday for the first time ever in the history of competitive angling.

Next season's schedule includes three $1 million qualifiers and three $1.5 million opens - the Wal-Mart Open, the Chevy Open and the new National Guard Open. Each $1.5 million open offers $10,000 cash award through 60th place in the Pro Division and $4,000 through 100th place. Each $1 million qualifier offers $10,000 cash through 50th place and $2,000 cash through 75th place. Additionally, pros finishing 76th through 100th place will receive a $100 gas card from BP at each qualifier in 2007.

"Larger payouts awarded deeper in the field are the cornerstone of our sport," said FLW Outdoors President and CEO Charlie Evans. "FLW Outdoors is proud to have the backing of a sponsorship team that is without equal in any sport. Thanks to Wal-Mart and our other sponsor partners we are proud to continue our traditions of providing the highest awards and deepest paybacks in all of competitive fishing."

Ranger owners will also receive lucrative new bonuses in 2007, with pros fishing for an additional $50,000 in each open and $25,000 in each qualifier for top awards of $200,000 and $125,000, respectively. Co-anglers who are Ranger owners will fish for an additional $10,000 in each open and $5,000 in each qualifier for top awards of $35,000 and $25,000, respectively. Pros must be registered original owners of 2004 or newer Ranger boats and co-anglers must be registered owners of 2000 or newer Ranger boats to qualify for bonuses.

Another change in store for 2007 is a switch from Wednesday through Saturday tournaments to Thursday through Sunday events. The change to a Sunday finale in conjunction with the FLW Tour's previously announced move to larger public venues is designed to accommodate a rapidly growing fan base and ever-increasing sponsor involvement in the sport.

"We were confident that Wal-Mart parking lots would one day no longer be a large enough venue for the FLW Tour," said Wal-Mart Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager Bill Kerr. "The fact that we now have to move weigh-ins to larger capacity public venues increases the scope of the Family Fun Zone. In addition, we will still be able to leverage multiple store locations for promotions in every market the FLW Tour visits."

Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition kicks off Feb. 15-18 on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, and then continues on Fort Loudoun Lake in Knoxville, Tenn., March 29-April 1. Lake Norman in Charlotte, N.C., will host the $1.5 million National Guard Open April 26-29 followed by the $1.5 million Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake in Rogers, Ark., May 17-20. The Potomac River in Washington, D.C., will host the fifth tour stop June 14-17, and the Detroit River in Detroit, Mich., will host the $1.5 million Chevy Open July 12-15. The $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol will be held on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 2-5.

Entry fees for 2007 are $3,500 per qualifier and $4,000 per open for pros and $700 per qualifier and $800 per open for co-anglers. The top 100 pros from the 2006 FLW Tour and the top 30 pros from the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Series will have priority entry into the 2007 FLW Tour. Entry dates will be released soon.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.

2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour schedule


Feb. 15-18 - Lake Travis - Austin, Texas
March 29-April 1 - Fort Loudoun Lake - Knoxville, Tenn.
$1.5 million National Guard Open
April 26-29 - Lake Norman - Charlotte, N.C.
$1.5 million Wal-Mart Open
May 17-20 - Beaver Lake - Rogers, Ark.
June 14-17 - Potomac River - Washington, D.C.
$1.5 million Chevy Open
July 12-15 - Detroit River - Detroit, Mich.
Forrest Wood Cup
Aug. 2-5 - Lake Ouachita - Hot Springs, Ark.

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