Oklahoma man proud of taking Pride tourney

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Oklahoma's Kenyon Hill tapped a lunker-laden honeyhole Sunday to win $100,000 and first place at the Bassmaster Elite Series Pride of Georgia tournament.

Kenyon Hill shows off his two largest catches during the weigh-in at the Bassmaster Elite Series Pride of Georgia tournament. The angler's four-day total was 68 pounds.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Kenyon Hill shows off his two largest catches during the weigh-in at the Bassmaster Elite Series Pride of Georgia tournament. The angler's four-day total was 68 pounds.

"I probably caught four limits of keepers today," the smiling, 43-year-old angler told fans after he weighed in an 18-pound, 2-ounce limit to bring his four-day total to 68 pounds.

Mr. Hill was trailed by Davy Hite, of Ninety-Six, S.C., with a 59-pound, 8-ounce total; and Edwin Evers, with 57 pounds, 1 ounce.

Mr. Hill, who has won two Bassmaster tournaments in his career, most recently in 2003, said he has always hoped to win an Elite series title.

"I been doing this 21 years," he said. "I've had opportunities to do well before and haven't followed through. This is a really big deal."

He used a combination of swim baits, Carolina rigs and topwater plugs to exploit a spot he found in a remote corner of the 70,000-acre Thurmond Lake.

"I had found this one perfect point that had some big fish," he said. "It's the kind of point you can win a tournament on -- a lot of really big fish."

On Sunday, when many anglers were left idle by windless, sunny weather that inhibited fish movement, Mr. Hill returned to his hotspot around 10 a.m.

"I caught a 4- or 5-pounder right off," he said. "A couple minutes later I hooked a 7-pounder."

Mr. Hill said he is heading home to Norman, Okla., immediately to share the win with his father and mentor, Dr. Loren Hill, who is terminally ill with esophageal cancer.

"My dad taught me how to fish and he supported me emotionally and financially when I decided I wanted to be a professional angler," he said. "I want to get the trophy back to him as quick as I can so he can enjoy it."

Sunday's final round was the culmination of a weeklong fishing frenzy that began with 109 pros and 109 amateurs, all vying for the spotlight.

Wildwood Park was home to the tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

The Pride of Georgia was the fifth of 11 Bassmaster events this season. The next tournament is scheduled for May 15-18 at Lake Murray near Lexington, S.C.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

THE TOP 12

Bassmaster Elite Series Pride of Georgia final standings and payouts:

ANGLER HOMETOWN WEIGHT PAYOUT

1. Kenyon Hill Norman, Okla. 68 lbs., 0 oz. $100,000

2. Davy Hite Ninety Six, S.C. 59 lbs., 8 oz. $31,000

3. Edwin Evers Talala, Okla. 57 lbs., 1 oz. $28,000

4. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich. 55 lbs., 1 oz. $18,000

5. Casey Ashley Donalds, S.C. 54 lbs., 10 oz. $17,000

6. Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, Ala. 54 lbs., 2 oz. $15,500

7. Todd Faircloth Jasper, Texas 53 lbs., 15 oz. $15,000

8. Peter Thliveros St. Augustine, Fla. 53 lbs., 11 oz. $14,500

9. Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif. 53 lbs., 6 oz. $14,000

10. Denny Brauer Camdenton, Mo. 52 lbs., 4 oz. $14,500

11. Alton Jones Waco, Texas 49 lbs., 3 oz. $12,500

12. David Smith Del City, Okla. 48 lbs., 9 oz. $13,800

WANT TO SEE IT?

The Pride of Georgia tournament coverage will air as a one-hour special at 9 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2.

Comments (4) Add comment
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15230
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15230 05/05/08 - 08:18 am
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I was the only Angler from

I was the only Angler from Augusta to be over 30 pounds at 33 pounds and 9oz and no story on me. We need to give locals some respect by putting some kind of story in there for our local heros.

htj
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htj 05/05/08 - 09:15 am
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Well 15230, I did not see any

Well 15230, I did not see any weights that match up to your 33-9 claim in the pro or co-anglers. Are you sure you fished this tournament?

noteworthy
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noteworthy 05/05/08 - 01:28 pm
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Yeah me either What is your

Yeah me either
What is your name? and what other local clubs do you fish with?

notsurprised
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notsurprised 05/05/08 - 08:32 pm
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hmmm. did 15230 not think

hmmm. did 15230 not think anyone was intelligent enough to look at the final standings? local hero huh?

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