FORT WORTH, Texas - Calling his recent trip to Australia an opportunity of a lifetime, Chase Outlaw said he traveled halfway around the world to "kick butt and win."
Even so, the 20-year-old from Arkansas was caught by surprise in Sydney when he found himself in position to win the second of three PBR Australian Cup Series events that he competed in.
"Going into the short round, I thought, 'Man, I'm about to step up and win two of these suckers,'" he said after returning to the U.S. earlier this week.
The three-week trip was his first experience outside of the country.
His only expectation was to focus on riding each and every bull, and to simply "enjoy being in Australia."
Looking back, he summed up the country in one word: "beautiful."
He spent much of his down time between events - in Newcastle, Brisbane and Sydney - traveling with Ryan Dirteater and Skeeter Kingsolver.
"I haven't met too many people who are as positive as they are," Outlaw said. "When I won those two events, they were the first two to come and congratulate me. I'm lucky to know (those) two guys."
Outlaw said he spent first week bunking with a local rancher, before taking a train to Brisbane and spending a week there. The three riders then rented a house in Surfers Paradise.
While staying along the Gold Coast, they went scuba diving, surfing, and at one point, attended a rugby match.
"We did whatever we wanted to do," Outlaw said, "and didn't have a care in the world. We weren't worried about anything. We did what we wanted to do, and it took care of itself when we got to the event."
Outlaw said the only drawback was being away from his daughter Cashleigh Blake.
He's grateful for the success he had, and said that he hopes it carries over to the upcoming Built Ford Tough Series event in Tulsa, Okla. However, he realizes the BFTS is a "whole different ballgame."
The one lesson he learned in Australia, he said, is to stay relaxed and try to have fun.
"I'm just going to try like I did in Australia," he said. "I wasn't even paying attention, and then I was sitting first in the short round and didn't even know it."
Outlaw, who hopes to compete in Brazil next month, said he's looking forward to seeing some of the riders he hasn't seen since the break started, following the BFTS event in Pueblo, Colo. He also said he's focused on moving up the world standings.
"Going into the short round, I thought, 'Man, I'm about to step up and win two of these suckers.'"
He's already won in excess of $100,000, and is currently ranked 12th in the qualifier standings, so he's all but assured himself a place in the draw for the World Finals in Las Vegas.
However, despite winning his first event in Houston, he's ranked No. 24 in the world standings.
In 13 events, Outlaw has recorded five Top-10 finishes, but his riding average of 35.29 percent still indicates the inconsistency of a first-year rider on the BFTS, competing against the rankest bulls in the world on a weekly basis.
With nine regular-season events remaining, his goal is to finish in the Top 10 each week and let the judges determine who wins the event. In the meantime, he's competing in several Touring Pro Division events, prior to arriving in Tulsa on Aug. 10.
He'll be in Livingston, Mont., Goodman, Kan., and Santa Barbara, Calif.
In recent years, he's won the state high school finals in Arkansas, the National High School Finals - as a sophomore - and now he's looking to step up and put himself in a position to win the World Finals in late October.
Lofty as it may seem, he asked, "Why not?"
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
© 2013 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.