By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
Andy Morgan was disappointed that he was unable to advance to the final day of the Kentucky Lake FLW Tour, but was happy to put the finishing touches on his second straight Angler of the Year (AOY) title.
"I was just glad that part was over," he said of his duel with challenger Cody Meyer, which went on for the better part of the season. "I definitely wanted to make that last cut, but it did seem like my fish were drying up and I didn't know how strong I could've finished. It definitely wasn't as good as it was when the tournament started."
The Tennessean came into the final regular-season event with an 8-point lead over Meyer, but had to go past the initial cut to secure the crown. As has been their habit all season, both ended up in the Top 20.
Morgan was in 9th place to begin day 3 and Meyer was in 17th. They were right next to each other when the day was over (14th and 15th, respectively), but since neither would be back on the water for day 4, the duel had reached its conclusion.
"I couldn't come in here focusing on making a $10,000 check – I figured I was going to have to make the Top 10 to win (the AOY)," he said in reference to Meyer's superb campaign. "My hat's off to him because that was an absolute battle.
"I feel like I fished (at about the same level) this year as I did last year, but this one might've been a little better because the race was a little tighter."
Morgan's berth in this year's Forrest Wood Cup was assured via last year's points title, and this one secures his slot in the 2015 championship derby. His odds of winning a second consecutive points crown were bolstered by the fact that the final two events were on his home system (the Tennessee River), but he downplayed that – particularly in regard to the finale.
"There's no such thing as a home-lake advantage when the fish are biting as good as they are right now on Kentucky Lake," he said. "Everybody's going to catch them."
His lowest regular-season finish this year was a 22nd at Sam Rayburn and he was the runner-up twice (at Hartwell and Beaver). That ledger was pretty similar to the one he compiled in 2013 with the notable exception of the annual stop at Beaver (he was 68th there last year).
He held the No. 1 slot in the BassFan World Rankings for much of the year before being supplanted by Jason Christie, who reclaimed the top position by picking up his fourth tour-level victory of the past 2 seasons by winning the Lake Dardanelle Bassmaster Elite Series.
Morgan, who pocketed a $100,000 check in addition to the AOY trophy, joined David Dudley as the only anglers to win back-to-back FLW Tour points titles. Next year he'll try to equal the record of three career crowns currently shared by Dudley and Clark Wendlandt .
"I'll go out and fish hard for that next year, no doubt," he said. "All I know is to go out there and give it hell and see how it shakes out in the end."