CITGO Bassmaster Tour Presented by Busch Beer
Alabama River; Montgomery, Ala. (May 22-25)
SEASON FINALE
News from the Tour (event 10 of 10)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - May 14, 2003 - When the new format for the 2003 CITGO Bassmaster Tour presented by Busch Beer was unveiled last spring it promised to give bass angling fans an exciting season of competition and a thrilling 10-event chase for the Busch BASS Angler of the Year title.

After five months, seven states, nine different winners and countless miles driven by anglers, tournament staff, sponsors and fans, the season finale is upon us and the excitement has reached its peak.

Five anglers enter the final event mathematically alive for the Busch BASS Angler of the Year award and its $100,000 bonus, but attention is primarily on the top four anglers, who are separated by a mere 19 points. Alton Jones leads has led since the second California event, but by a mere point over fellow Texan and reigning CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion Jay Yelas. Roger Boler of Louisiana is third, just eight points behind Jones, and Arkansas' Mark Davis, the only angler in the group to have won the award previously, is 19 points off the lead.

"I don't really think I have an advantage in the race as a result of having won before," said Davis who has claimed the season points title three times. "The guy leading is at a disadvantage, though. Jay and Alton are both feeling a little more pressure than Roger or myself."

Jones disagrees, largely because of a poor start to the 2003 season.

"I'm not feeling any pressure at all," said Jones. "I'm amazed to be where I am. Pressure is a matter of perspective. I started poorly and worked my way up throughout the season, so wherever I finish I'll feel like I've had a successful year."

Davis and Jones both say pressure can cause an angler to fish more conservatively, hoping for a just-good-enough finish. Often, the finish doesn't materialize and the angler allows someone to come from behind.

"The reality is with only 50 points up for grabs, 19 points is a big deficit," Davis explained. "However, I did make up 23 points at the last event. For me it will be business as usual, let the chips fall where they may. I realize I'm in the race, but I feel no pressure, I'm not expecting to win Angler of the Year."

Despite the intense competition throughout the year, Jones says one of the most rewarding aspects has been competing with close friends.

"I'm really close with Mark and Jay and it has been fun competing against them," Jones said. "I've gotten to know Roger a lot this season. If I win, great, but I'll be happy for Jay or Roger or Mark if they win."

This event is a Showdown format in which the top 12 pros and amateurs will see their weights zeroed after the second day weigh-in. The anglers will then rotate through a predetermined links-style set of holes on Saturday. All anglers will receive one hour and 20 minutes per hole. The top 6 pros will fish the course again on Sunday.

In addition to the excitement of the event and the championship race, fans attending the event in Montgomery will have the opportunity to witness top entertainment acts at the Jubilee City Fest. BASS fans can obtain more information by visiting the Jubilee City Fest website at www.jubileecityfest.com.

TELEVISION
The event from Montgomery will be telecast on ESPN2 in two parts. Part one airs May 31 at 10:30 a.m. (ET) and part two will air on June 7 at 10:30 a.m.  The season finale will also be telecast at a special time, 6 p.m. on June 22 on ESPN2.

UP NEXT
This is the final event on the 2003 CITGO Bassmaster Tour schedule.  The next event will be the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer this August 1-3 in New Orleans, La.


Schedule of Events for Alabama CITGO Bassmaster Tour Event

Registration Wed., May 21, 4:30 p.m.
Ramada Inn East

Briefing Wed., May 21, 6:30 p.m.
Ramada Inn East

First day launch Thurs., May 22, 5:30 a.m.
Montgomery Riverfront

Day 1 weigh-in Thurs., May 22, 3:00 p.m.
Union Station at the Riverfront

BASS Sponsor Expo Fri., May 23, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Union Station at the Riverfront

CastingKids Exhibition Fri., May 23, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In conjunction with Kidsfest

Day 2 weigh-in and cut Fri., May 23, 3:00 p.m.
Union Station at the Riverfront

BASS Sponsor Expo Sat., May 24, 11 a.m.  to 11 p.m.
Union Station at the Riverfront

CastingKids Exhibition Sat., May 24, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In conjunction with Kidsfest

Day 3 weigh-in and cut Sat., May 24, 3:30 p.m.
Union Station at the Riverfront

BASS Sponsor Expo Sun., May 25, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Union Station at the Riverfront

CastingKids Exhibition Sun., May 25, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In conjunction with Kidsfest

Day 4 weigh-in Sun., May 25, 3:30 p.m.
Union Station at the Riverfront

CLASSIC WATCH
With just one event to go, attention is firmly on not only the Busch BASS Angler of the Year race, but also Classic qualifiers.

Of the 50 anglers still competing, 42 will be advancing to the Big Easy for this summer's festivities.

Why 42? Two anglers, Edwin Evers and Chad Morgenthaler, have already assured themselves of berths through the CITGO Bassmaster Opens last fall.

Based on point differentials entering the final event, the top 13 anglers in the Busch BASS Angler of the Year race have clinched spots in the 2003 Classic. Anglers in positions 14-30 would clinch their berth by simply weighing in one bass during the Montgomery event.

POINTS RACE FOR BUSCH BASS ANGLER OF THE YEAR
Pros will be competing for valuable Busch BASS Angler of the Year points throughout the 2003 season.  Points are awarded based on each angler's finish in an event, with 175 points awarded to the first-place angler and one fewer point as positions descend. An angler must catch at least one bass to earn points.

BUSCH BASS Angler of the Year point Standings (following 9 events)