Fort Worth angler Meta Burrell came within a fish’s breath of becoming the first woman to win a tournament on one of the Bassmaster tours originally designed for men only.
Burrell finished second last weekend, only 2 ounces out of first place, in the co-angler division of the Southern Open on Santee Cooper Reservoir near Summerton, S.C.
The killer for Burrell? She took a 4-ounce penalty for having one dead fish in her catch during Thursday’s opening round.
The winner was Rod Dubose of Opelika, Ala., who rallied from 83rd place to win with 18 pound, 9 ounces. His final-day catch was 17 pounds, 3 ounces.
Burrell, who competed in her first professional bass tournament last month in a Women’s Bassmaster’s Tour event at Lake Lewisville, had 18 pounds, 7 ounces in the Southern Open — 12-11 on Thursday and 5-12 on Saturday, winning $5,171. Dubose won $32,000.
The tournament was reduced to two rounds when Friday’s second round was cancelled because of high winds and stormy weather.
Alabama angler Randall Tharp, fishing his first BASS event, won the pro division (and $47,571) with a two-day total of 44-10.