So how does a recent Forrest Wood Cup champion gauge what a successful season is just one year after his career-defining achievement?
Some may think Anthony Gagliardi’s idea of a successful tournament season may have gotten skewed after he won the Cup in dramatic fashion to cap off his 2014 season. He’s been around long enough to realize that that was a rare opportunity in which the stars aligned in his favor at his home lake for a 4-day period. He wasn’t so naïve to think anything short of another Cup triumph would be deemed a failure. He knew it would be hard to win at a game of “Can You Top This?” during the 2015 FLW Tour season.
He held his own by posting two Top-20 finishes and finishing 16th in points, his best showing since 2009, all the while handling the duties that come with being the reigning Cup champ and trying to get his new rod company off the ground.
“It was successful,” he said. “I had a pretty good year. When you end a year like I did (in 2014) and I think this is true for anyone after an Angler of the Year or Cup win, the biggest thing was to make sure I didn’t have a let down.
“It’s the same as football where a team comes off a big win they let off gas after that emotional high and then has a letdown against a team they shouldn’t lose to. I wanted to have the same focus and have a great year and I felt like I did that for the most part. I had a couple tournaments that got away from me, but I still wanted to finish as high as I could.”
Looking back, he was mostly pleased with how his year as the reigning Cup champion played out.
“I didn’t put much thought into what I expected it to be, but it was good,” he said. “I guess I could’ve used it to my advantage more in certain ways, but I’m pleased with how the year went.” Read more