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  Go back to the News List! Texan late qualifier for '05 Bassmaster 07/13/2005 Document  
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  Texan late qualifier for '05 Bassmaster

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

By Deborah Weisberg, Special to the Post-Gazette

In a surprise move yesterday, BASS announced that veteran angler Gary Klein qualified for the $700,000 CITGO Bassmaster Classic July 29 in Pittsburgh.

Klein, 47, of Weatherford, Texas, joined a field of 46 anglers vying for a $200,000 top prize.

"After careful consideration and a thorough review of the rules pertaining to the Elite 50 point distribution, BASS has determined that angler Gary Klein has qualified for the 2005 and 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic," BASS said in a news release issued from its Celebration, Fla., headquarters. "BASS decided to rule in the interest of Klein after a degree of ambiguity was created by the manner in which points were awarded on the third and fourth days of the Lake Wissota Bassmaster Elite 50 in Chippewa Falls, Wis., on June 15-18."

Klein said yesterday in a phone interview that he appealed a decision by BASS last month that left him out of the Classic. He tied Rick Clunn in points after four tournaments in the Elite 50 series. "It was something that had never happened before," Klein said. "They made the right decision."

Clunn has won four Classics, more than anyone in the tournament's 35-year history. Klein has been to 22 Classics and finished second to 2003 champion Mike Iaconelli on the Louisiana Delta. He has eight BASS Pro Tour titles and has earned millions of dollars on the pro tour.

Though a Classic title has eluded him so far, he is hoping to change that in Pittsburgh. Klein cannot make up for lost practice time. He will have only the final day of "pre-fishing" all anglers get, July 27, before the tournament.

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