Traditional Wal-Mart FLW Tour cut format replaces bracket system

BENTON, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2006) - FLW Outdoors announced Tuesday that it will replace its championship bracket format with the traditional Wal-Mart FLW Tour cut format beginning with the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 2-5, 2007. The change was necessitated by the fact that anglers from multiple FLW Outdoors tournament trails and the TBF (The Bass Federation) National Championship will qualify for the lucrative event for a shot at the sport's first $1 million payday.

"The NCAA-style bracket format has served us well for many years on the FLW Tour," said FLW Outdoors President and CEO Charlie Evans. "It created thrilling head-to-head matches and unique story lines that allowed fans to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat with every pair of anglers to cross the stage. There is, however, no equitable way to pair anglers in head-to-head competition when they qualify through different circuits. But the bracket will not disappear. We will use the format in our East-West fish-off for the FLW Series."

The 2007 Forrest Wood Cup will feature the top 40 pros and 35 co-anglers from the 2007 FLW Tour, the top 30 pros and 25 co-anglers from the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Series, the top pro and co-angler from each of the five Stren Series divisions at the 2006 Stren Series Championship, the 2007 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American boater and co-angler winners, the 2007 TBF National Championship boater and co-angler winners, the winning teams from each of the five 2006 Stratos owners' tournaments held in the United States (both team members fishing the Forrest Wood Cup as co-anglers), and the first- and second-place teams from each of the two Ranger owners' tournaments slated for 2007 (the boaters of each team fishing the Forrest Wood Cup as pros and their partners fishing as co-anglers).

Overall, 81 pros and 81 co-anglers will compete in the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup. The full field will compete for two days and then be cut to the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers based on accumulated weight from days one and two. These 10 pros and 10 co-anglers will start from zero on day three, with the winning co-angler determined by the day's heaviest catch. The pros will carry their weights over to day four, and the winner will be determined based on accumulated weight from days three and four. Weigh-ins all four days will be held at Summit Arena in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup Outdoor Show at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

"The 2007 Forrest Wood Cup represents a defining moment in our sport's history," Evans said. "Never before have so many anglers had the opportunity to compete for a share of $2 million in a no-entry-fee championship. In fact, anglers fishing the Stren Series and BFL will actually qualify for two no-entry-fee championships offering total payouts of $3 million. This is an unprecedented accomplishment in bass-fishing history."

Both the Stren Series Championship and the BFL All-American offer anglers $1 million purses with top awards of $140,000 in addition to the Forrest Wood Cup.

"One thing we take great pride in at FLW Outdoors is the fact that we listen to our anglers, and we are flexible enough to adjust when needed," Evans said. "We make a lot of decisions every day, and our track record is pretty good, but we are not perfect, nor do we claim to be. Occasionally, we miss. We realize that we will never be able to please everyone all of the time, but we feel strongly that this change will contribute to the professionalism of our sport and its continued growth."

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners' Tournaments Trail, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most-respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.

$2 Million 2007 Forrest Wood Cup Payout

Place Pro Co-angler
1st $1,000,000* $50,000**
2nd 100,000 10,000
3rd 75,000 9,000
4th 60,000 8,000
5th 50,000 7,000
6th 45,000 6,000
7th 40,000 5,000
8th 35,000 4,000
9th 30,000 3,500
10th 25,000 3,000
11th 20,000 2,800
12th 19,000 2,600
13th 18,000 2,400
14th 17,000 2,200
15th 16,000 2,000
16th 15,000 1,800
17th 14,000 1,600
18th 13,000 1,400
19th 12,000 1,200
20th 11,000 1,000
21st-40th 10,000 475
41st-81st 1,000 250

* $1 million will be awarded to the pro winner if the winner is a qualified Ranger owner. $500,000 will be awarded to the pro winner if the winner is not a qualified Ranger owner.

** $50,000 will be awarded to the co-angler winner if the winner is a qualified Ranger owner. $25,000 will be awarded to the co-angler winner if the winner is not a qualified Ranger owner.