matt_herren_trophy_shot_mg_6101It’s been nine years since Matt Herren won a major event, and roughly nine months since Andy Morgan was ranked No. 1. They’re both realities again.

Herren held off Bryan Thrift (ranked No. 4) by mere ounces to win the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Ray Roberts. In doing so, he bested a 38-angler field featuring the top 15 anglers in the 2015 Bassmaster Elites Series and FLW Tour angler of the year standings, along with eight other invitees – making it one of the hardest tournaments to win. Plus, the smaller field means a slip up can really hurt an angler’s average, which you’ll see in a bit.

For now, we’ll focus on Herren. Even before the victory, Herren had quietly been a solid performer, being ranked 33rd. That ranking jumped to 22nd after the victory and the 2014 Elite Series event on Dardanelle dropping off.

Meanwhile, John Cox felt the brunt of what a lackluster finish in a small field can do. His 30th-place finish was his worst finish average-wise since 2014, and it hurt his average enough to slip him to third in our Major Ranking.

That left the door open for former No. 1 Morgan to regain his throne after he finished fourth at the TTBC. Morgan is now the only angler in the Major Ranking with an average above 800.

Has it really been five years since Kevin VanDam won a major tournament? It’s hard to believe the most decorated angler in our sport’s history hasn’t laid his hands on a trophy since the 2011 Bassmaster Classic trophy. Sure, he’s been close a few times, with three runner-up finishes the last few years, but the



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