For reasons that I’m not sure that I understand 100%, Andy Morgan has elected to fish five only Bassmaster Opens in his career, the last of them in 2009. I guess he seems to have it pretty good over at FLW. He’s always in the race for AOY and probably clears enough money to support his hunting habit with cash to spare.
No one who knows anything about the sport doubts that he could be competitive on the Elite Series, and he’s had his share of success in his limited B.A.S.S. exposure, including a win in the 2005 Southern Open on Guntersville. If he were to fish a full slate of Opens he might not qualify on the first attempt – after all, a single bad day in the three tournaments can damn your chances – but it wouldn’t take him long to earn a spot.
Without expressing any opinion about which tour is more challenging or has a deeper field, I do think it’s a shame that he seems unlikely to compete regularly against the VanDams and Swindles and A-Marts of the world. It’s kind of like they exist in a parallel universe, aware of each other, even friends in some cases, but not competing head to head. The only comparisons I can think of would be a Cuban Olympic boxer who never got to go pro under the Castro regime, or perhaps a basketball player who toiled away in half-full ABA gyms instead of going head to head with the NBA’s best. It just seems like a waste that 40 years from now we’ll be wondering how many Classics he might’ve won instead of remembering an epic showdown between Morgan and KVD on Championship Sunday, slugging it out on camera with no holds barred.