Three-time FLW Angler of the Year winner Clark Wendlandt from Leander, Texas has withdrawn from next week’s Walmart FLW Tour event at Pickwick Lake after suffering a heart attack on Monday. Wendlandt is currently at St. Mary’s Hospital in downtown Knoxville and anticipates being released Thursday evening or Friday morning.
â€œI’ve never had any heart problems before, but any time you have a chest pain you wonder to yourself if you’re having a heart attack. Usually you aren’t â€“ or at least that’s been the case with me,â€ said Wendlandt, a 15-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. â€œThis time it felt different, though. My whole body hurt, and there was a lot of pressure on my upper arms and even in my jaw.â€
Wendlandt said that around 3 a.m. Monday, the pain in his upper body became so excruciating that he decided to drive himself to the hospital in Jefferson City, Tenn. Because of the holiday, the cardiologist there was not on duty, and the emergency room staff decided to send him to Knoxville by ambulance. At St. Mary’s, a cardiologist was able to install a stint in the blocked artery that caused the heart attack without performing major surgery.
The doctor told Wendlandt that he should rest for the next six to eight weeks before resuming his normal routine. That precludes him from fishing the final two Walmart FLW Tour events on Pickwick Lake (June 5-8) and Kentucky Lake (June 26-29).
â€œI’m going to do what the doctor tells me, but he said I should make a full recovery and that’s what I’m counting on,â€ Wendlandt said. â€œI was planning on fishing a couple of B.A.S.S. Opens later on, but I’m going to play that by ear now. But I do look forward to fishing the [Walmart FLW] Tour next year.â€
Wendlandt had competed in the first four events of the 2014 FLW Tour season, his 18th season competing at the sport’s top level.