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Meet the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup contenders V

Meet the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup contenders V
George Cochran (left) won the Forrest Wood Cup in 2005 and Brent Ehrler (right) took home the Cup title in 2006. But who will be holding up the trophy in 2010?

With the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup slated for Aug. 5-8 on Lake Lanier in Atlanta, the clock continues to tick toward the start of one of the most prestigious and exciting bass-fishing championships in the nation. In an effort to provide bass-fishing fans with a little more perspective and background on the competition, FLWOutdoors.com is launching a five-part series/overview of each of the 78 qualifying pros - one of whom will walk away with the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion.

With a guaranteed first-place prize of $500,000 on the line (as well as another $100,000 if the winning pro is Ranger Cup qualified), there is clearly plenty at stake in Atlanta. So without further ado, let's meet the contenders.

(Editor's note: Forrest Wood Cup competitors will be featured in alphabetical order. This is the final installment of the five-part series.)




2010 Forrest Wood Cup contenders

Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio.Dick Shaffer - Rockford, Ohio Shaffer will be making his first Forrest Wood Cup appearance after nine years of professional fishing. Shaffer cashed a check at every FLW Tour event this season with the exception of Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes. He has fished at every level of FLW Outdoors competition and has accumulated more than $450,000 in career winnings, 11 victories and 47 top-10 finishes. Shafer qualified for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup through the FLW Tour.


Pro Ron Shuffield.Ron Shuffield - Bismarck, Ark. Shuffield is making his fourth Forrest Wood Cup appearance after he finished the 2010 season in fourth place overall in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race. Shuffield started the 2010 campaign with a second-place effort on Table Rock Lake and garnered a 13th-place finish on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes. Shuffield has displayed a remarkable amount of consistency over the last few years on the FLW Tour, finishing sixth in 2009, 20th in 2008 and 21st in 2007 in the Angler of the Year standings. Shuffield cashed a check at every event this year with the exception of Lake Ouachita and has more than $300,000 in career winnings. Shuffield qualified for this year's Cup through the FLW Tour.

Pro Cameron Smith of Dana Point, Calif.Cameron Smith - Dana Point, Calif. Smith qualified for his first-ever Forrest Wood Cup by finishing 10th in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division points race. Smith's highest finish in FLW Series competition came in 2009 when he placed seventh at Lake Havasu. Smith, who began fishing the FLW Series back in 2008, has two top-10 finishes and nearly $60,000 in career earnings.

Goodwill pro Wesley Strader.Wesley Strader - Spring City, Tenn. Strader is appearing in his 10th Forrest Wood Cup in the last 13 years. His highest showing at the Cup was in 2005 where he finished eighth on Lake Hamilton. Strader's highest finish this FLW Tour season was a 17th-place effort at Table Rock Lake. the Goodwill pro has won more than $850,000 during his career. Strader finished 23rd in the 2010 point standings race. Strader's highest finish in AOY competition over his career is 15th place, which he has accomplished three times. Strader boasts 26 top-10 finishes at FLW Outdoors events over the course of his career, including an FLW Tour victory on Lake Ouachita in 2002. Strader qualified for this year's Cup through the FLW Series.

Pro Jon Strelic of El Cajon, Calif.Jon Strelic - El Cajon, Calif. The 2010 Forrest Wood Cup will be Strelic's first foray at the championship event. Strelic finished last season ranked eighth in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division Angler of the Year race and currently sits in fourth place overall this season. Strelic has posted five top-10 showings, including two fourth-place finishes at the California Delta. Strelic qualified for this year's Cup via the FLW Series.

Scott Suggs.Scott Suggs - Bryant, Ark. Suggs became professional fishing's first instant millionaire when he won the Forrest Wood Cup in 2007 in Hot Springs, Ark., on Lake Ouachita. He is appearing in the fourth championship event of his career. The Folgers pro finished the 2010 FLW Tour season ranked 10th in the Angler of the Year race. His season was highlighted by a second-place finish at Lake Ouachita and a 10th-place finish at Table Rock Lake. He has won more than $1.5 million during his five years as an FLW Tour pro. Suggs qualified for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup through the FLW Tour.

Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala. Randall Tharp - Gardendale, Ala. Tharp is making his first Forrest Wood Cup appearance in his short two-year FLW Tour career. The highlight of Tharp's 2010 Tour season was a 14th-place finish at Lake Norman. He currently is ranked ninth overall in FLW Series Eastern Division competition. In 2009, he finished 12th in FLW Series Eastern Division competition to qualify him for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.

Pro Zack Thompson.Zack Thompson - Orinda, Calif. Thompson won the 2009 Angler of the Year Award in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division. Thompson, who will be making his second Forrest Wood Cup appearance, boasts five top-10 finishes on the FLW Series and three top-10 results on the American Fishing Series. Thompson qualified for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup through the FLW Series.

Bryan Thrift.Bryan Thrift - Shelby, N.C. Thrift is currently one of the hottest anglers on the Tour, capping off a stellar season by winning the 2010 FLW Tour Angler of the Year award. The Damiki pro will be making his fourth Forrest Wood Cup appearance in as many years. He finished in fifth place at the Cup in his rookie season of 2007 on Lake Ouachita and ninth in 2009 at Three Rivers. Thrift cashed a check in every event this season and recorded four top-10 finishes including a victory on his hometown waters of Lake Norman. He has amassed $640,000 in career winnings. Thrift qualified for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup via the FLW Tour.

Pro Brian Travis of Conover, N.C.Brian Travis - Conover, N.C. Travis will be making his second Forrest Wood Cup appearance in 2010. He finished eighth at his championship debut in 2008 on Lake Murray. He finished the 2010 FLW Tour season ranked 34th, registering a fourth-place finish at Lake Norman along the way. Travis qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup through the FLW Series Eastern Division when he finished the 2009 season in 10th place. In his two years fishing as a professional, he has two victories, six top-10 finishes and amassed almost $250,000 in career earnings.

Pro Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio.Vic Vatalaro - Kent, Ohio Vatalaro will be making the third Forrest Wood Cup appearance of his seven-year career. Vatalaro finished in 11th place in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race in 2010. His highest finish in 2010 came at Lake Norman where he placed eighth. He followed that up with a 12th-place finish at Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes. Vatalaro has won more than $700,000 during his career, boasts six victories and 18 top-10 finishes. Vatalaro qualified for the 2010 Cup via the FLW Series.

Pro David Walker.David Walker - Sevierville, Tenn. Walker is making the 10th Forrest Wood Cup appearance of his 14-year career. He qualified for this year's Cup through the FLW Series Eastern Division by finishing third in the 2009 Angler of the Year race. Walker closed the 2010 FLW Tour season with a fourth-place finish at Lake Guntersville. Walker placed ninth in the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup on Three Rivers and has won more than $1.1 million dollars to go with his one victory and 39 top-10 finishes. Walker's career highlights also include a 1999 FLW Tour AOY title.

Pro Clark Wendlandt.Clark Wendlandt - Leander, Texas One of the most decorated anglers in the history of FLW Outdoors, Wendlandt is making his 13th Forrest Wood Cup appearance. With an astonishing 34 top-10 appearances at FLW Outdoors events, including 26 of those at FLW Tour events, Wendlandt also boasts three FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles (1997, 2000 and 2009) - the most of any angler in history. This year, Wendlandt finished the 2010 race in 12th place. Wendlandt has won almost $2 million over the course of his career and has recorded three FLW Tour victories (two on Beaver Lake and one on Lake Murray). Wendlandt qualified for this year's Cup through the FLW Tour.

Pro Ken Wick.Ken Wick - Star, Idaho Wick received his invitation to his fifth Forrest Wood Cup appearance by placing ninth in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division. Wick has eight career top-10 finishes with his highest finish culminating in a fourth-place showing at the FLW Tour Potomac River event in 2007. In 2008, Wick won the FLW Series Western Division Angler of the Year award.

Pro Mike Wurm.Mike Wurm - Hot Springs, Ark. Wurm is making the fifth Forrest Wood Cup appearance in the course of his 11-year career. He finished the 2010 season ranked 32nd with a season-high showing at Table Rock Lake where he finished third. Wurm has won more than $1 million dollars over the course of his career and has one FLW Tour victory (1999 - Lake Murray) and seven top-10 finishes. Wurm qualified for this year's Cup through the FLW Tour.

Chevy pro Jay Yelas.Jay Yelas - Corvallis, Ore. Yelas is making his seventh appearance at the Forrest Wood Cup. He has had three top-10 finishes in previous Cup appearances, including a career-high fifth-place finish in 2006 on Logan Martin Lake. In 2010, Yelas had a 16th-place finish at Lake Guntersville and a 17th-place finish at Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes. He has posted almost $2 million in career winnings and has recorded 14 FLW Outdoors top-10 finishes, including 11 on the FLW Tour. Yelas also boasts two FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles (2002 and 2007). Yelas qualified for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup via the FLW Tour.

Pro Chris Zaldain.Chris Zaldain - San Jose, Calif. Zaldain qualified for his third Forrest Wood Cup appearance through the FLW Series National Guard Western Division. Zaldain currently sits in third place in the FLW Series Western Division Angler of the Year race. Zaldain has two top-10 finishes this year, Lake Mead (9th) and Lake Shasta (2nd). Zaldain qualified for this year's Cup through the FLW Series.






Related links:

Meet the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup contenders

Meet the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup contenders II

Meet the Forrest Wood Cup contenders III

Meet the Forrest Wood Cup contenders IV

Tags: pre-tournament  2010-08-05-forrest-wood-cup 

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