Quick, who was the first Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year? If you answered Peter Thliveros, give yourself a pat on the back.

Peter T, as he’s more commonly known, led the pack in 1996, the year FLW burst onto the national bass tournament stage. Three years later, Thliveros had another stellar season and finished fourth in the annual standings. In fact, the Florida pro qualified for six consecutive Forrest Wood Cup championships between 1996 and 2001 (the year of 9/11, when there was no Cup) and was one of the Tour’s shining stars in its formative years.

It seemed Thliveros could do no wrong when he set out on the tournament path, but then came a lot of ups and downs in what became a rocky road for him. He finished 117th, 135th and 146th in 2002, 2003 and 2005, respectively, and disappeared from the Tour scene between 2006 until his return in 2012.

“It’s a long, complicated story, but the short version is that I couldn’t handle the two-tour tango, and I wound up fishing the B.A.S.S. side for a variety of reasons, mainly because of sponsor considerations,” says Peter T. “There were a lot of distractions. It took me five years to get my mind straight and go back to FLW.”

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