The long-time Tour pro jumped on the fish early, and despite his weights falling each day, he was able to hold off a number of hard-charging young pros for his first Tour victory. Worth noting is the inverse relationship Bryan Schmitt and he had over the last month. Monsoor was the favorite at the Mississippi River event in May, but Schmitt won it. Then Schmitt was the favorite at the Potomac, and Monsoor won. As Monsoor said afterwards, “you can’t script that.”
In terms of rankings, it’s a pretty safe bet NO ONE had all of the top 10 anglers on their fantasy teams. While Michael Neal and Jeff Sprague were ranked in the top 10 going into the event, only one other pro (Cody Meyer, 41st) was ranked in the top 75, and that doesn’t include Chad Warren, who hasn’t fished enough events to qualify for the Majors Two-Year Ranking, but he also hadn’t cut a check yet this season.
Monsoor also hadn’t cut a check going into the final event, as he was ranked 190th pretournament. His victory gave him a significant boost in his wallet and rankings, bumping him to 174th.
In looking at the rest, Sprague and Neal are now 8th and 9th, respectively, and Meyer is inside the top 40 at 39. Chris Johnston was ranked No. 1 earlier this year, but he’d fallen to 79th. Hopefully this tournament begins his climb back, as he’s in 59th, while Brandon Cobb also saw a significant jump to 76th, broken foot and all.
Also worth noting is Bryan Thrift slipping to third. He has openly said how much he despises fishing rivers, and while he did decent at the Mississippi and the Potomac, he fell back a spot, which is noteworthy when you consider how he’d held the top spot since this time last year.