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Pirch Wins 2014 US Open

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It took landing a haymaker blow in the opening round, then dodging opponents punches for him to do it, but Clifford Pirch today claimed his third WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury U.S. Open victory. The win joins him with Mike Folkestad and Aaron Martens as the only individuals to have won the West’s most prestigious bass fishing event a trio of times.

“I’m speechless right now, especially after being so close the last two years,” said the Payson, Ariz. pro. “I really didn’t think that I had produced enough weight to hold on, but it feels great to pull through, and I’m especially blessed to have been so fortunate to win this event three times; I’m completely humbled right now.”

Pirch opened the event by landing a giant uppercut to the field when he weighed in a 15.49-pound limit that gave him almost a 4-pound lead after the first day. He decided to play it safe in the second round and stayed closer to the Calville Bay takeoff area trying to conserve equipment and avoid disappointment by making a big gamble. That move resulted in a 7.80-pound limit that left the door open to competitors to overtake him. However, he entered the final day with a 2-pound lead.

He decided to make a sizeable run to the back of the Overton Arm to target dirty runoff and debris that had resulted from upstream monsoons and flash floods. It was an area that he had saved for the final day, and it took a while for his bite to develop, but he connected with fish that had moved downstream and caught more than 25 keepers en route to an 8.19-pound limit that left him nervous.

But, one by one, his competitors faltered, and when the last two anglers who had the best shot to defeat him reported in with no fish; Pirch had won the 2014 WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury U.S. Open with a total weight of 31.26 pounds. The victory earned him a brand new Nitro Z8 / Mercury prize package valued at $37,000 and $50,000 cash.

Pirch used three different techniques to claim victory. He drop shotted a Pirch’s Purple Roboworm on a Phenix M1 Drop Shot rod and culling out all but one of his early limit with a shad colored crankbait thrown on a Phenix X13 Cranking rod late in the afternoon on the first day. He returned to dropshotting again during the slick calm conditions of the second day, then turned to pitching his signature 1/2-ounce Clifford Pirch Outdoors Flippin’ jigs to hardwood cover in the dirty water on the final day with a Phenix Super Flipper rod. He alternated between black and blue and Clay Bank Orange colors tipped with soft plastic craws as trailers depending on the water clarity.

“It was a tournament where I had to do a lot of different things to produce the right bites; I had to change with the conditions,” he said. “I really wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out today, but I’m blessed and honored to have won this event.”

Todd Woods of San Dimas, Calif. held steady for most of the week and produced a total weight of 28.70 pounds to finish in second place. Third place finisher Gabe Bolivar; from Ramona, Calif. actually sat on the Costa Hot Seat as the current leader for nearly half of today’s weigh-in with 28.49 before being eclipsed by Woods. Dixon, California’s Brett Leber slipped one more place, but his steady showing over the three days earned him fourth place with 26.54. Finally, the top five was rounded out by two-time U.S. Open winner John Murray, who posted nearly a 10-pound stringer to move up from 25th place with a total weight of 25.80 pounds.

The AAA winner was Alex Centner of Gilbert Ariz. who teamed with pro partner Bobby Lanham from Cave Creek, Ariz. to produce the largest stringer of the event; a massive 16.06-limit that also included the big fish of the day. The performance was enough to catapult him from 39th place to victory. Centner will receive more than $10,000 and a St. Croix Rods prize package valued at more than $1,000

By virtue of being the highest finishing pro without a sunglass sponsorship; second place finisher Woods will receive the Costa sponsorship package which includes a full wrap, jerseys, 10 pairs of Costa Sunglasses and paid entry fees into the 2015 California Open at Clear Lake as well as the 2015 WON Bass U.S. Open. The package is valued at $10,000.

For more information, visit www.wonbass.com.

2014 U.S. Open Final Standings – Pro Division

Place Name Hometown Weight Penalty Big Fish Total
1 Clifford Pirch Payson AZ 31.26 6.49 31.26
2 Todd Woods San Dimas CA 28.7 2.86 28.7
3 Gabe Bolivar Ramona CA 28.46 2.52 28.46
4 Brett Allen Leber Dixon CA 26.54 4.03 26.54
5 John Murray Phoenix AZ 25.8 3.72 25.8
6 Tony Lain Menifee CA 25.33 2.22 25.33
7 Scott Davis Preston ID 25.45 0.2 25.25
8 Joe Uribe, Jr. Surprise AZ 24.67 2.7 24.67
9 Pete Marino Moreno Valley CA 25.06 0.4 2.44 24.66
10 Luke Clausen 24.59 24.59
11 Randy Blaukat Joplin MO 24.54 3 24.54
12 Chris Bozarth Henderson NV 24.33 0.2 2.82 24.13
13 Wade Strelic El Cajon CA 23.84 2 23.84
14 Bill O’Shinn Bakersfield CA 23.96 0.2 3.47 23.76
15 Scott Canterbury 23.72 2.83 23.72
16 Johnny Johnson Lakeside AZ 23.45 23.45
17 Bobby Lanham Cave Creek AZ 23.33 5.1 23.33
18 Chris Studinger San Marcos CA 23.24 2.29 23.24
19 Bill Brown Grand Junction CO 23.06 3.16 23.06
20 Jesse Slaton Klamath Falls OR 22.7 22.7
21 Brent James St George UT 22.45 3.7 22.45
22 Jay Yelas Carvallis OR 22.42 2.92 22.42
23 Jimmy Reese Ukiah CA 22.32 2 22.32
24 Chris Kinley Lake Havasue City AZ 22.29 3.79 22.29
25 Robert Lee Altaville CA 22.17 22.17
26 Donnie Scroggins Kingman AZ 22.2 0.2 3.12 22
27 Paul Hodges Glendale AZ 22.09 0.2 21.89
28 Kevin Stewart Elk Grove CA 21.8 21.8
29 Jim Jared Dolan Springs AZ 21.65 3.49 21.65
30 Todd Herman Gilbert AZ 21.24 2.24 21.24
31 Jim Moynagh Carver MN 21.2 2.26 21.2
32 Zack Holwerda Phoenix AZ 21.02 4.47 21.02
33 Joseph Raftery Las Vegas NV 20.92 2.52 20.92
34 John Mackey Boulder City NV 21.04 0.2 20.84
35 Jon Griffith Mesa AZ 20.81 20.81
36 Gary Dobyns Live Oak CA 20.76 20.76
37 Zachary Elrite San Jose CA 20.95 0.4 3.33 20.55
38 Cody Compton Palisade CO 20.5 3.8 20.5
39 Philip Roesener Parowan UT 20.22 4.16 20.22
40 Brent Becker Henderson NV 19.9 19.9
41 Tommy Jonovich Phoenix AZ 19.87 19.87
42 Douglas Minor Riverside CA 19.86 19.86
43 Tom Leedom Escondido CA 19.84 19.84
44 Keith Beever Mission Viejo CA 19.98 0.2 19.78
45 Douglas Jones North Las vegas NV 19.92 0.2 2.12 19.72
46 Shawn Lee Arroyo Grande CA 19.91 0.2 2.93 19.71
47 Scott Helleson Whittier CA 19.5 2.28 19.5
48 Garrett Howard Riverside CA 19.65 0.2 2.66 19.45
49 Cody Spetz Menifee CA 19.62 0.2 2.47 19.42
50 Keith Espe Phoenix AZ 19.27 3.33 19.27
51 Klayton Belden El Cajon CA 19.22 19.22
52 Neil Flores Menifee CA 19.13 2.3 19.13
53 Rusty Salewske Alpine CA 19.03 19.03
54 Andy Manahl Mesa AZ 19.02 2.76 19.02
55 Adam East San Diego CA 19.2 0.2 19
56 Ken Whalen Lompoc CA 18.95 18.95
57 Mike Brillhart Waddell AZ 19.07 0.2 2.54 18.87
58 George Kramer Lake Elsinore CA 19.02 0.2 2.49 18.82
59 Travis Richards Henderson NV 18.61 2.44 18.61
60 Gary Pinholster Lake Havasu City AZ 18.39 4.84 18.39
61 Guy Savidan Yorba Linda CA 18.35 18.35
62 Andrew Napoleon Mesa AZ 18.51 0.2 18.31
62 John Weisfuss Oxnard CA 18.71 0.4 1.92 18.31
64 Kyle Grover Trabuco Canyon CA 18.42 0.2 2.18 18.22
65 Cody Meyer Grass Valley CA 18.2 18.2
66 Marco Valdez Richland WA 18.12 18.12
67 John Morrow Brea CA 18.09 3.25 18.09
68 Jiggs Benn Myrtle Creek OR 17.77 17.77
69 Mike Rennie Pioche NV 17.93 0.2 1.91 17.73
70 Steven Bowlin Coolidge AZ 17.73 0.2 17.53
71 Jay Guterding Redding CA 17.46 17.46
71 William “Billy” Skinner Carlsbad CA 17.66 0.2 17.46
73 Marco Fenelli San Diego CA 17.16 2.26 17.16
74 Kody “Bucky” Leigh Yuma AZ 17.07 17.07
75 Jeff Rutt Winchester CA 17.01 17.01
76 Mike Folkestad Villa Park CA 16.98 16.98
77 Don Iovino Burbank CA 16.94 3.82 16.94
78 Mike Caruso Peoria AZ 16.92 16.92
79 Shaun Bailey Lake Havasu City AZ 16.78 16.78
80 Ed Arledge Valley Center CA 16.73 16.73
81 Kevin Caruso Glendale AZ 16.92 0.2 16.72
82 Danny Moraga Hesperia CA 16.89 0.2 1.99 16.69
83 Peter Manfrina Lompoc CA 16.67 2.62 16.67
84 Daniel Price II San Diego CA 16.64 16.64
85 Dick Watson Alta Loma CA 16.5 3.37 16.5
86 Rusty Brown Tustin CA 16.45 16.45
87 Don Gage Grizzly Flats CA 16.41 16.41
88 Roy Hawk Lake Havasu City AZ 16.75 0.4 16.35
89 Josh Bertrand Gilbert AZ 16.3 16.3
90 Gunnar Stanton Boulder City NV 16.26 16.26
91 Justin Patti Phoenix AZ 16.18 16.18
92 Jamie Shaw Coolidge AZ 16.05 3.13 16.05
93 Marvin Barellano Monterey Park CA 15.98 2.15 15.98
94 Dave Wendrich Elko NV 15.88 15.88
95 Randy Estrada, M.D. Corona CA 15.77 2.31 15.77
96 Matt Shura Gilbert AZ 15.81 0.2 15.61
97 John Noble Adair Village OR 15.54 3.68 15.54
98 Ryan Kjellberg Yucaipa CA 15.53 15.53
99 Kona Borja Henderson NV 15.46 3.69 15.46
100 Steve Pool Weldon CA 15.36 2.78 15.36
101 Vern Ridgway Chandler AZ 15.05 15.05
102 Stephen Pike Las Vegas NV 14.9 14.9
103 Ray Arbesu Henderson NV 15.16 0.4 2.79 14.76
104 Ben Byrd Moab UT 14.64 14.64
105 Devin McDonald Las Vegas NV 14.56 0.2 2.9 14.36
106 Wade Headrick Herriman UT 14.33 14.33
107 Raymond Archer Greeley CO 14.28 14.28
108 Gary Freeman Las Vegas NV 14.25 14.25
109 Claude Sims Boerne TX 14.11 14.11
110 Jamie Cyphers Cedar City UT 14.01 14.01
111 Michael Phua Chino CA 14.05 0.2 13.85
112 Tom Lowery Santee CA 13.75 2.89 13.75
113 Mark Poe Coolidge AZ 13.72 13.72
114 Kevin Gross Claremont CA 13.87 0.2 3.3 13.67
115 Mooseok Park 13.63 2.09 13.63
116 Michael McLernon Oceanside CA 13.46 2.64 13.46
117 Jason Borofka Salinas CA 13.21 13.21
118 Mark Rauenzahn San Diego CA 13.2 5.65 13.2
118 David Kemper Tempe AZ 13.4 0.2 13.2
120 Steve Molinari Waddell AZ 13.06 0.2 12.86
121 Rich Tauber Camarillo CA 12.78 2.14 12.78
122 Sean Coffey Mesa AZ 12.77 12.77
122 Ricky Shabazz Rialto CA 12.77 12.77
124 Josh Polfer Nampa ID 12.75 2.72 12.75
125 Travis Jewell Sandy UT 12.82 0.2 12.62
126 Rob Erautt Yucaipa CA 12.54 12.54
127 Ron Hammett La Mesa CA 12.31 12.31
128 Josh Rhodes Lake Havasu City AZ 12.25 12.25
129 Jim Hawkes Apache Junction AZ 12.43 0.2 12.23
130 Keith Ferlanie Henderson NV 12.2 12.2
131 Kenichi Tanaka Minamikawachigun 12.12 12.12
132 Chris Gosselaar Clovis CA 12.06 3.72 12.06
133 Elliott Holsbo Lakeside CA 11.99 11.99
134 Billy Hines Vacaville CA 11.37 11.37
135 Jeffrey Scott Allen Flagstaff AZ 11.13 3.78 11.13
136 Justin Hanold Poway CA 11.32 0.2 11.12
137 Clayton Meyer Henderson NV 11.07 11.07
138 Mark Lassagne San Ramon CA 10.99 10.99
139 Oscar Torrado Mira Loma CA 10.81 10.81
140 Murray White Glendale AZ 10.65 10.65
141 Ernie Stumpf Carrollton TX 10.52 10.52
142 Matt Nadeau Grass Valley CA 10.38 10.38
143 Edward John Tustin CA 9.75 9.75
144 Bill Griffith Ventura CA 9.21 9.21
145 Jim Elliott Redding CA 8.59 8.59
146 Norman Santos Rosamond CA 8.46 8.46
147 Cody Murray Nampa ID 8.39 8.39
148 Brian Carnahan Flagstaff AZ 8.57 0.2 8.37
149 Ed Shaver Lake Havasu City AZ 8.19 8.19
150 Tony Richards Oceanside CA 8.13 8.13
151 Dylan Maxon Phoenix AZ 7.71 7.71
152 Robert Schoessler Henderson NV 7.64 7.64
153 Don McBride Roosevelt AZ 7.55 0.2 7.35
154 Sam Rosefsky 7.25 7.25
155 Michael Rigney Janesville CA 7.24 2.41 7.24
156 Jason Burchfield Las Vegas NV 7.06 7.06
157 Melvin Williams Chula Vista CA 7.01 7.01
158 Fred Krumsiek Glendale AZ 6.58 6.58
159 Young “Bradley” Yang 6.38 3.12 6.38
160 Larry Triplett Aurora CO 5.12 5.12
161 Neil Campbell Mirrietta CA 4.34 4.34
162 Chris Morris Wingman AZ 3.58 3.58
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