Every tournament has its favorites to win. Some look at local pros as the favorites. Others go by past performances. Yet others simply go on hunches.
We go by numbers, and we have plenty of them. Hence the series “Data Overload.”
Before every Majors event, we want to use our database of stats to figure out who really are the favorites at any given event. We want to know if locals really hold the edge, or if time of year makes a difference with certain pros. We don’t want opinions. Just stats.
Are you ready? Then let’s start crunching.
Right off the bat, the numbers scream that Andy Morgan is the favorite for this weekend’s FLW Tour Open at Lake Guntersville. Using the three-tournament minimum, five-year-span criteria, Morgan beats 93.1 percent of the field on average. In other words, if every tournament he fished at Guntersville had 100 boats, he’d average a 7th-place finish. Not too surprising considering Morgan is a Tennessee River stick who doesn’t live too far from Guntersville.
However, if you expand the field of anglers by requiring just a two-tournament minimum, David Fritts takes the lead with a jaw-dropping 992.593. That’s right, he beat 99.2 percent of the field. Let me say that again: 99.2 … percent … of the field. That’s 296 out of 298 anglers, not including himself, looking up at him in the standings. Yeah, he’s good. Then again, both those tournaments came during prime cranking time (February and June). But it’s Fritts. It’s always prime cranking time for Fritts.
Now, that same two-tournament, five-year criteria also shines a light on local Robert Boyd. His 975.410 score ranks second to Fritts, and one of his finishes came in October – a 10th in an FLW EverStart in October 2009.
That same October EverStart was won by Chris Lane. So he could definitely be in the mix, but his brothers may fare better. Arnie Lane has scored a 952.72 in his two tournaments, and Bobby Lane a 808.728 in five events. Chris? Just a 609.069, but he has fished the most Major- and Minor-level events on Guntersville with six since 2007 and nine since 2003.
Head hurt yet? Then it will give you peace of mind to know Greg Pugh has the highest score for consistency. A five-event, five-year criteria gives him a 769.089. And right behind him are two more big names – Gerald Swindle (735.403) and Derek Remitz (695.570).
But if you want to know who has done the best lately, that would be JT Kenney. He scores an 806.001 with a two-event, two-year criteria. The same could be said for Pugh (774.754) and Bobby Lane (772.290).