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Day 4: Fans' perspective

6/4/2006

GROVE, Okla. — The 12 remaining competitors of the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series Sooner Run on Grand Lake seemed relaxed before the 6:10 take-off Sunday morning. Maybe this was due to the fact that none of them have a realistic chance of catching Mike McClelland, who has almost a 12-pound lead over second place.

The spectators on the dock this morning served up their true feelings on who they wanted to win the tournament and who they thought would win. Here's what they had to say:

Jonathan Warren
Hometown: Shady Point, Okla.
Occupation: Physical Therapist
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "I'm pulling for Ken Cook today because I am a big fan of his and he's an Oklahoma boy."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "McClelland is pretty much running away with it right now, but hopefully we'll have a good day of fishing."

Steve Scott
Hometown: Sapulpa, Okla.
Occupation: Machine Shop Supervisor
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "Probably Edwin Evers. He's is really good and I like the way he fishes."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "Probably that McClelland guy. You'd have to come from a long way back to catch him."

Paul Parnell
Hometown: Joplin, Mo.
Occupation: Lawyer
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "I think Iaconelli is the only angler with a chance of catching McClelland. He is so explosive and dynamic, it's hard not to root for him."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "Obviously McClelland. If he doesn't win the tournament today, it may go down as one of the biggest chokes in the history of sports."

Kyle Tudor
Hometown: Winpool, Okla.
Occupation: International Bus Manufacturer
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "Edwin Evers of course. He's my favorite. Of all the anglers, VanDam, Ike, Evers has to be the best because he's showed character and proved that he's versatile. He had a good showing in the Classic and in the Memorial two weekends ago. I would like to see him win one."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "Mike McClelland. He's got too big of a lead for anybody to catch him on this lake today."

David Crossman
Hometown: Miami, Okla.
Occupation: Bank Teller
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "I really like that Jeff Connella guy. He's a rookie that is doing well, he's a really fun guy and he's a good 'ole boy from Louisiana. He had a big sack on Friday and I think he can maybe do it again."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "It's probably going to be McClelland, but watch out for that Connella character."

Carol Forner
Hometown: Grove, Okla.
Occupation: Delaware County Clerk
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "Mike McClelland."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "He has such a lead that it will really be hard to catch him. He is always so up and brings his optimism and prayers to the stage everyday. I think he is just a really great guy."

Ron Manny
Hometown: Grove, Okla.
Occupation: Construction
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "I just moved here from Los Angeles about three months ago. I came for vacation, caught nine bass in one trip on the water, which I've never caught more than one in a day, went home, told them I quit, and we moved to this great fishery. I am glad to see this tournament here too. I like Aaron Martens a lot. My wife and his family have known each other since he was about three years old."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "They are all really good anglers, but no one probably can catch up with the leader."

Cliff Love
Hometown: Mulvane, Kan.
Occupation: Restaurant Owner
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "I would like to see Dean Rojas come back and win it all, just because he is the last guy in line."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "Probably McClelland if he catches a fish."

Jim Westin
Hometown: Tulsa, Okla.
Occupation: Carpenter
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "Mike McClelland. I know a lot of these guys and I don't know him but he deserves to win."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "It's going to be Mike."

Micah Dipippa
Hometown: Salisaw, Okla.
Occupation: Fireman
Which angler would you like to see win the tournament today? "Of course I am rooting for Greg Gutierrez, he is in the same line of work I am. Not a pro bass angler, but the saving lives and putting out fires business."
Which angler do you think will win the tournament today? "I will bet $100,000 that Mike McClelland is going to win this tournament."