David Kennedy made history Saturday at the Australian Finals at Sydney's Allphones Arena, becoming the Australian Champion for a record-breaking third time.
"I came here to ride bulls and I got the job done," said the 27-year-old Kennedy, whose win scores him automatic entry to the World Finals in Las Vegas this October.
Chase Outlaw won the Sydney event, posting his second Australian Cup Series event win. The 20-year-old also won the Brisbane Invitational on July 14.
"I'm just having fun," Outlaw said. "I don't think about it too much. As soon as I start to think, it all goes south."
Australian Lachlan Richardson was named Rookie Of The Year, while John Gill & Sons' Akubra Suicidal took Bull Of The Event. Dunne Bulls' That's Gold was named Bull Of The Year for the second consecutive season.
Kennedy, the Australian Champion in 2009 and 2010, lost ground in 2011 because of injury, but returned to form well ahead of the pack this season.
"I came here to ride bulls and I got the job done."
Richardson, who returned from an outstanding debut on the Built Ford Tough Series to close the gap on Kennedy, lost ground when he didn't score in Brisbane, and then failed to cover his first bull in Sydney.
The drop kept Kennedy in the lead, and may have been the reason he turned down his re-ride option in Round 2, keeping his 67-point effort vs. Nonsense. Combined with his moderate 78 points on Hecticin Round 1, Kennedy advanced to the championship round with 145 points.
Richardson covered Buck Owens for 85 points in Round 2, but it wasn't enough to qualify for the championship round.
Defending Australian Champion Jock Connolly rode with two broken bones in his right hand and a damaged elbow. Despite his injuries, he scored 85.5 on Tap Out in Round 1, but couldn't make the whistle vs. White Lightening in Round 2.
"The fact that he rode at all shows you the kind of gutsy bull rider he is," PBR President and Australia's only World Champion Troy Dunn said. "Jock's a winner no matter which way you look at it."
Only Kennedy and Outlaw covered three bulls in Sydney. Outlaw scored 86 points on Planet Hollywood in Round 1, before putting up another 86 on Bowie in Round 2. He entered the championship round atop the leaderboard with 172 points.
Outlaw chose Get Rich Quick in the championship-round draft, and stuck to him for 86 points. Outlaw finished the night with a total of 257 points, 26 ahead of Kennedy.
Kennedy chose a bull which had made its PBR debut the weekend before in Brisbane, Delta 32, and scored 86 points, putting his total at 231.
Four riders covered both of their long-round bulls: Chris Lowe, Zane Lambert, Harve Stewart and Zack Brown.
Brown took the early lead with 84 points on Brown Bomber in Round 1, before scoring 87.5 points on Navaho in Round 2. He finished with 171.5 points on the night.
In front of a hometown crowd, Lowe put up 82.5 points on Rattlehead, and then scored 85 points on Navigator in Round 2. He bucked off Akubra Suicidal in the championship round to finish equal with Lambert at 167.5 points.
Lambert scored 80 points on Homicide. He covered Lab Rat for 87.5, but Zee Force got the better of him in the championship round.
Stewart scored 82 points on Off The Chain (Round 1), and 83 points on Goblin (Round 2), before selecting Bull Of The Year That's Gold in the championship round.
"I wouldn't be here if I wasn't confident," said Stewart, who bucked off to finish with 165 points.
The night's highest-scored ride came when Ryan Dirteater covered Hang Tough for 88 points. The effort was enough to earn him a spot in the championship round where he bucked off Inmate to finish seventh.
The 2012 PBR Australian Cup Series was a three-stop tour, which kicked off at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on July 7, stirred up the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on July 14 and finished with the Finals at Sydney's Allphones Arena on July 21.
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