In case you didn’t hear, some guy named Kevin VanDam is the new No. 1 ranked angler in the world after last weekend. We guess it’s kind of a big deal.
In all seriousness, though, it is a big deal, which is why we devoted Monday’s Movers & Shakers article to the news.
First off, how good is Tharp on Okeechobee? Is phenomenal a strong enough word? Legendary, maybe? Even before his win last weekend, Tharp was beating 98.1 percent of the field over the last two years at Okeechobee. And with the win, his last six finishes on the Big O are fourth, seventh, fifth, second, second and first. Are you kidding? Tharp makes as much money in Florida as Lebron James. Ok, maybe not that much.
As for his Majors world ranking, the victory jumped Tharp from 20th to 18th, where there’s a logjam of anglers around the 70-percent mark.
John Cox got a bit more of a boost from his second-place finish. He improved two percentage points (now 664.307) and vaulted from 38th to 27th. Meanwhile, Jeremy York’s third-place finish improved his average nearly seven full percentage points, bumping him from 210th to 200th.
With the tournament and fourth-place finish, Art Ferguson reentered the Majors World Ranking in 162nd, while fifth-place finisher Brandon McMillan and seventh-place finisher Roland Martin have yet to fish enough events to qualify for the ranking.
Three pros from the top 10 at Okeechobee who certainly have qualified are Bryan Thrift (sixth), Scott Martin (eighth) and Steve Kennedy (ninth). Thrift continues to climb up the rankings, now residing in fourth with 779.270. Martin and Kennedy nearly mirrored each other, with Martin jumping 11 pros to now reside in 40th and Kennedy jumping nine to move into 45th.
Of course, Okeechobee was a sore event for some noteworthy anglers, as was talked about on Monday. Some other noteworthy falls include, surprisingly, Terry Scroggins, who finished 146th and fell from 36th to 51st, Clark Wendlandt (24th to 31st), Micah Frazier (44th to 67th), Kevin Snider (72nd to 106th) and Kelly Jordon (122nd to 132nd).