Greg Vinson is now in and David Walker is out of the field for the Major League Fishing Heritage Cup as a result of a scoring error that occurred at the Lake Chickamauga Bass Pro Tour.
The error occurred April 12 during the Group B Elimination Round in which Vinson competed. Initially, Vinson was credited with 23 bass for 31-08, which gave him 63-13 overall and put him in 24th place in Group B and 48th overall. A 48th-place finish is worth 33 points and when combined with the 61 points he earned for his 20th-place showing at Stage 3 at Raleigh, N.C., the 94 points put him in 32nd place in the Heritage Cup standings.
While Bass Pro Tour anglers accumulate points through the whole season that count toward qualifying for the RedCrest championship, the fields for the four MLF Cups are determined by point totals earned over four two-tournament segments. The first two Bass Pro Tour tournaments – Kissimmee Chain and Lake Conroe – accounted for the 30-man field headed to the Challenge Cup.
After the corrections were applied for Vinson’s weight at Chickamauga, his Elimination Round weight for the 23 bass went up to 39-04, according to the updated results now published on the MLF website. That bumped his two-day total to 71-09, which moved him up to 21st in Group B and 42nd overall. As a result of the change, Vinson was credited with 39 points at Chickamauga, which gave him 100 points across Stages 3 and 4 and moved him inside the Heritage Cup field.
The corrections resulted in Walker, with 95 points, being nudged out of the 30th position in the Heritage Cup standings.
According to Vinson, the error occurred as a result of his boat official during the Elimination Round entering weights for his bass in a decimal format rather than pounds and ounces. For example, if Vinson caught a 1-pound, 12-ounce bass, it was entered as 1.12 pounds.
MLF provided the following statement to BassFan:
“After the conclusion of the Chickamauga event it was discovered that a simple button on one MLF Official’s SCORETRACKER, was set for tenths instead ounces, for a very short time which scored the weight incorrectly. The human error caused one angler’s total weight to be less than it should have been. It also kept that angler from qualifying into the Heritage Cup later this year. MLF immediately corrected the mistake and certified all of the other event scoring. The right angler qualified into the Heritage Cup and a previously qualified angler fell out as a result. Several special measures have been implemented to prevent it from occurring again in the future”.
Vinson said he recalled taking a photograph of the written scorecard after his Elimination Round, but he didn’t cross-reference it against anything.
“I’m glad they caught it,” he said. “It’s a tough deal for David and I hate it for him, but I’m happy they got it right and it worked out for me.
“It’s our first year doing all of this and there will be wrinkles to iron out. We just ask that whatever they do to fix it is fair for everybody.”
Walker, who qualified for the first Cup, said he was informed of the scoring change a couple weeks ago.
“I left Chickamauga thinking I hadn’t qualified, but then found out I was in so I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “Then I get a call letting me know I’m not in. Making these Cups is vitally important in this gig.”
The Heritage Cup is scheduled for early August at an undisclosed location and will be filmed for later airing (2020) on Outdoor Channel.