Finally, it was Anthony Gagliardi's turn on Sunday. The bass pro from Prosperity, fishing on his home waters of Lake Murray, won the FLW's Forrest Wood Cup and its $500,000 first-prize money by a single ounce.
Gagliardi's final round catch of 13 pounds, 14 ounces, gave him a four-day total of 51 pounds, 2 ounces, a tiny sliver of a win but a big one nonetheless.
Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., took second place and $60,000 with a final-day catch identical to Gagliardi's -- five fish, 13-14 -- for a 51-1 total. Third-round leader Brent Ehrler oF Redlands, Calif, weighed in 11-10 to take third at 50-11, South Carolina pro Casey Ashley of Donalds moved up a spot from fifth to fourth with 15-0 for 50-7, and Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., has the biggest catch of the week, 20 pounds, 2 ounces, to fishin at 50-7.
Ehrler won $50,000, Ashley $40,000 and Kennedy $35,000.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Matt Herrin of Ashville, Ala., with 14-15 for 48-0; Brian Thrift of Shelby, N.C., with 5-8 for 44-6; Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., with 10-7 for 43-4; Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., with 3-6 for 35-13 and Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis with 2-3 for 33-7.
Gagliardi very nearly didn't qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup. He was disqualified at the first tournament of the season because of a rules violation, but through the remainder of the year, he finished high enough to score enough points and get the next-to-last spot in the field on his home lake.