RALEIGH, N.C. – Here are three things we learned from the Frontier Communications Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, this weekend at PNC Arena.
Aparecido slightly extends lead in world title race
Eduardo Aparecido could have walked out of PNC Arena with an even stronger grip on the world No. 1 ranking, but Cut the Cord threw a wrench in Aparecido’s plans when he turned left during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Aparecido expected Cut the Cord to go right, was fooled by the changeup and was bucked off in 4.37 seconds.
A qualified ride would have likely given Aparecido a victory and an additional 400 points toward the world standings.
Instead, Aparecido was only able to increase his lead on No. 2 Cooper Davis to 236.67 points following a 2-for-3, ninth-place finish (57.5 world points) heading into next weekend’s regular-season finale in San Jose, California.
Aparecido had selected Cut the Cord with the third pick of the championship round draft.
“Normally he bucks right, but when he went left my rope moved a little and it made it difficult for me,” Aparecido said.
It was a missed opportunity for Aparecido after he rode his first two bulls of the weekend.
Aparecido began the event with 85.75 points on Red Rocket and 81.75 points on Who Knows.
The 27-year-old leads the PBR with 41 qualified rides and a 51.9-percent riding average.
He was the only rider in the Top 6 of the world standings to record two qualified rides in Raleigh.
Davis (1-for-3) was bucked off in the championship round by Struttin Stuff (2.4 seconds) and Chase Outlaw (1-for-3) was downed by Shownuff in 3.13 seconds.
Kaique Pacheco (1-for-2) failed to qualify for the championship round, while No. 4 Derek Kolbaba and No. 5 Jess Lockwood each finished 0-for-2.
552.5 points separate the Top 5 riders in the world standings.
“This is one more event where I stayed on my bulls,” Aparecido concluded. “But at the Finals there are so many points.”
SweetPro's Bruiser fails to pass Pearl Harbor, while also costing Vieira the victory
Bruiser needed a 46.75-point bull score to usurp Pearl Harbor and regain the world No. 1 ranking in his final out of the regular season.
The reigning World Champion Bull came up just short though.
Bruiser bucked off Joao Ricardo Vieira in 6.95 seconds for a 46.25-point score during the championship round.
Pearl Harbor leads Bruiser 46.38 to 46.28 points.
The buckoff cost Vieira a chance at the event victory.
“When he came backward and stopped moving (left) he got me,” Vieira said. “For me, it was no good when he went backward. I was ready for it, but I wasn’t moving and I bucked off. It is OK. Next time.”
Vieira was leading the event when he selected Bruiser with the first pick of the championship-round draft.
Bruiser now leads the all-time series against Vieira 3-2.
2009 Ring of Honor inductee and CBS Sports Network commentator J.W. Hart said Bruiser probably shouldn’t have been marked that high either.
“I thought he was just good,” Hart said. “I thought they marked him kind of high. I thought he was a 45-pointer. I didn’t think he was anything over special, but the judges liked him.
“It is still a tossup.”
Barbosa earns win; Rookie of the Year race tightens
Dener Barbosa continued his torrid second-half run by going 3-for-3 to win his first career BFTS event and take over the lead in the Rookie of the Year race.
Barbosa earned the victory by riding Black Rose for 86.75 points and then watched on as Aparecido, Dakota Buttar (3.78 seconds on Wired Child) and Vieira all bucked off.
“No words can describe how happy I am to win this event,” Barbosa said with the help of Guilherme Marchi translating. “Today, my dream came true. I finally got it done this week.”
Barbosa started the event with 82.25 points on JJ’s Dream in Round 1. Then on Sunday he kicked things off with 81.75 points on Deep End.
The 23-year-old earned 450 points toward the world standings and surpassed Cody Teel for the Rookie of the Year lead.
Barbosa now leads Teel by 47.5 points in the Rookie of the Year standings.
Teel finished 1-for-3, but he did earn 90 world points for splitting the Round 2 win with Gage Gay after riding Big Show for 86 points.
“At 8.1 (seconds) I was diving off in there and my hand was reaching out,” Teel said. “He was kind of moving away a little bit I felt like. I should have rode him a little better. I was glad to hear I got 8.”
Teel was bucked off by Jack Shot in 3.82 seconds during the championship round.
Meanwhile, fellow rookie Claudio Montanha Jr. won the championship round with 88.75 points on Nailed.
Montanha also was 3-for-3 and finished in second-place overall, which was a career-high.
The 28-year-old trails Barbosa by 409.17 points in the rookie race.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, three riders are doubtful for San Jose after sustaining injuries in Raleigh. Stetson Lawrence tore his right groin muscle attempting to ride Mac’s Barbeque (3 seconds) in Round 2. Shane Proctor aggravated a left wrist and left rib injuries when he was bucked off by Strawberry Swirl (2.3 seconds), and Koal Livingston strained his right arm attempting to ride Locke & Loaded (3.24 seconds).
Meanwhile, Fabiano Vieira is probable for San Jose after tearing his left biceps (riding arm) during his 83.5-point ride on Blues Man.
J.W. Harris partially dislocated his right shoulder (riding arm) during his 3-second buckoff against Loan Shark.
World leaders Aparecido and Davis go ride-for-ride (10-14-17)
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis put the pressure on world leader Eduardo Aparecido with an 85.75-point ride on Slip Out during Round 1, but Aparecido once again showed he is not going to back down from the bright lights or major moments in his pursuit of a world title.
Aparecido ended Round 1 on Saturday night by riding his re-ride bull Red Rocket for 85.75 points to finish the evening tied with Davis, Cody Campbell (85.75 points on Otis) and Emilio Resende (85.75 points on Slinger) for fourth place.
Every rider earned 12.5 points toward the world standings.
Therefore, Davis – the No. 2 rider in the world standings – still trails Aparecido by 196.67 points.
“When you are in a world title race, you can’t let nerves get the best of you and him being able to keep his composure the way he has is impressive,” Davis said. “Really, the Top 6 guys have done really good at it. It has been fun and fun to be a part of.”
World No. 3 Kaique Pacheco (7.97 seconds on AJ), No. 4 Derek Kolbaba (4.45 seconds on Clemon Time) and No. 5 Jess Lockwood (5.37 seconds) all bucked off.
Pacheco’s buckoff went to a review, where the PBR’s official replay judge ruled Pacheco lost his bull rope at 7.97 seconds. There was also a review of if the clock started correctly, and the judge upheld the time and decided to go with the official electronic time and not revert to a stopwatch.
Meanwhile, Lockwood said his broken ribs felt fine on Saturday, but that his buckoff was more a result of having been out two weeks than any result of pain.
Aparecido was awarded a re-ride after Shark Bait hipped himself leaving the chute.
The 27-year-old also tipped his hat to Davis with a major compliment, comparing him to a former two-time World Champion.
“I like Cooper,” Aparecido said. “I like watching Cooper. That bull flashed right there and (changed direction. I look at him as the same as I do Justin McBride.”
Slip Out began left with Davis before turning back to the right just after 3 seconds.
“I didn’t feel real good on him going left, but when he went back right I felt good,” Davis said. “When he did that it through for a loop, but we readjusted and got back to it. I couldn’t ask for a better first one.”
Davis will take on Carrot Top (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2 on Championship Sunday, while Aparecido will search for 8 seconds aboard Who Knows (3-1, BFTS).
Fans can watch all of the action exclusively on CBS Sports Network beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
Outlaw continues to not back down in title race
Chase Outlaw may be the sixth ranked bull rider in the world, but that isn’t going to stop him from trying with all he’s got to run down the world leaders before the start of the 2017 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 1.
Outlaw tied for the Round 1 victory Saturday with Rubens Barbosa (86.5 points on True Story) by riding Jug Head for 86.5 points.
Immediately after the ride, Outlaw let out an emphatic yell in the arena and slapped the hand of Koal Livingston.
The Hamburg, Arkansas, bull rider has always been an enthusiastic bull rider, but in recent weeks he has been extremely fired up.
“Hell I have been to the World Finals five times now and I have sort of just took part,” Outlaw said. “It is time now to bow up and put the foot on that tiger’s throat. There is no need to let it up. For five years I have been taking part, now I am trying to take over and run my own race.”
Outlaw and Barbosa earned 80 points toward the world standings.
Outlaw now trails Aparecido by 1,053.34 points.
He takes on Jungle Can Do (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2.
Outlaw had a chance at the victory last weekend in Nampa, Idaho, before bucking off More Big Bucks in 6.31 seconds.
He doesn’t expect to have a missed opportunity again on Sunday.
“Well, like I said before, we are never out of this fight every time we nod our heads and it is a new day,” Outlaw concluded. “No matter what.”
Harris cracks Top 35
J.W. Harris wants to make sure he has a World Finals spot secure before the start of the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour Finals on Oct. 28 and he took a strong step toward that goal Saturday.
Harris finished Round 1 tied for third place with Dakota Buttar (86 points on Colt .45) after riding I’m A Hustler for 86 points.
“He beat me right out of there and kind of had a big move out,” Harris said. “The owner of the bull told me he is not going to have a lot of up and down and he will be moving on me the whole time. He was a big heavy one trying to drop me off in there. He tried to move away from me and I had to keep fighting.”
The four-time PRCA champion earned 45 points toward the world standings to move from No. 37 to No. 33 in the world.
“Well, it is just coming down to going out there and riding the bull that is underneath me,” Harris said. “Do what I can with them. It will all work out if I do my job. If I get the call and I am getting on a bull Nov. 1 in Vegas I know I am fine.”
Harris leads No. 36 Troy Wilkinson by 11.66 points.
Wilkinson may be unable to compete on Sunday after sustaining a concussion when he was bucked off by The Don in 6.01 seconds. According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Wilkinson is questionable for Round 2 and will have to go through the PBR’s concussion protocol.
Harris is riding with a torn abdominal muscle and back pain.
The 31-year-old tried out Stetson Lawrence’s Life Pulse pulsating electromagnetic field device earlier in the day before receiving treatment from Rich Blyn and the PBR Sports Medicine team.
PEMF therapy keys primarily on stimulating cell metabolism and helps speed up the healing process for some fractures.
“I feel good,” Harris said. “Shoot, it don’t hurt. I just rolled off. I did some kind of magnetic stuff with Stetson. I focused on my left side and it felt like it loosened me up. I wasn’t stiff and my back wasn’t hurting. I will probably do it again tomorrow. I am skeptics when it comes to all of it, but it is something I may end up investing my money in cause it worked.”
Harris has drawn Loan Shark (0-3, BFTS) for Round 2.
“I have a good one tomorrow, so it damn sure should be a little easier than the one I got on tonight,” he concluded. “Everyone you get down builds your confidence.”
Lockwood and Lowe returning in Raleigh (10-11-17)
A week after winning the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic in Austin, Texas, to get within 85 points of regaining the world No. 1 ranking, the second-year pro broke four ribs, lacerated a kidney and punctured a lung the following week in Uniondale, New York, attempting to ride Blue Magic.
The injuries resulted in Lockwood missing two events, and he has not been a happy camper about it.
“I don’t like sitting around watching (PBR) on TV,” Lockwood said. “I have been thinking what the hell I can do to get back to trying to get back to first and where I need to be.”
He will get his first chance at re-gaining ground in the world title race this coming weekend.
Lockwood is returning to competition on Saturday for the Frontier Communications Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The No. 5 man in the world standings heads into the second-to-final Built Ford Tough Series regular-season event well within reach of world leader Eduardo Aparecido.
Lockwood is only 495 points behind Aparecido and a victory this weekend in Raleigh could propel him back into the world lead.
The 20-year-old spent the first week of his recovery simply resting, which included a four-hour trip to the emergency room in Bismarck, North Dakota, to get treatment for pneumonia.
“Once I got some fluids in me, I felt 100 percent better,” Lockwood said. “I did (rest) for the first week, and then I started feeling I was loosening up and could move. As soon as that, I started doing little workouts that didn’t hurt me.”
Lockwood, who also missed five weeks because of a torn groin in the first half, has competed in only 17 events, which is the second-fewest among Top 10 riders. No. 9 Cody Teel, who didn’t start the season on the BFTS, has ridden in 16 events.
The Volborg, Montana, bull rider upped his physical activity last week with more strenuous exercises in his home-made gym.
“This past week I have been working out hard in my little workout shed doing regular stuff,” Lockwood said. “There are some core workouts I can’t do that don’t necessarily hurt, but I don’t want to push it too hard.
“I have been riding the bike to get warmed up and then I will jump some rope and just lifting and sweating in there keeping my weight down. When I couldn’t work out, I gained a couple of pounds sitting around.”
Lockwood has drawn Captain (3-4, BFTS) for Round 1, while Aparecido will look to defend his world lead aboard Shark Bait (1-0, BFTS).
“Captain is going to be right there to the left and be good,” Lockwood said. “He is probably going to get better throughout the ride and I have to just keep up with him and should be able to win the round on him.”
Dr. Tandy Freeman told Lockwood he would likely still have soreness in his rib region for the next 2-4 weeks.
However, Lockwood, who also has started getting on his bucking machine this week, believes having sustained the broken ribs on his riding-hand side should be beneficial compared to if he had broken them on his free-arm side.
“Luckily it is my riding hand side, so I don’t have to be lifting and moving my free arm a lot, which would put more pressure on them,” Lockwood said. “It is better that it is that side.”
No. 2 Cooper Davis (196.67 points behind Aparecido) faces Slip Out (1-1, BFTS), No. 3 Kaique Pacheco (-365) takes on AJ (2-0, BFTS) and No. 4 Derek Kolbaba (-452.5) has a Round 1 meeting against Clemon Time Saturday night inside PNC Arena.
Lockwood is not the only top rider returning to competition in Raleigh.
No. 13 Cody Nance is back after missing last weekend’s event in Nampa, Idaho, because of an illness, and No. 17 Mason Lowe is returning following a month on the sidelines because of a torn ligament in his right riding elbow.
Like Lockwood, Lowe has gotten sick and tired of sitting at home watching events unfold without competing.
“Yeah, I’m going,” Lowe said via text message. “Can’t stand watching from home. (Arm) feels good. Just been working out.”
Nance will take on Gangster Boy (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1 and Lowe will look for 8 seconds aboard Two By Four (2-0, BFTS).
Alternate riders will be at a minimum this weekend with only three riders – No. 11 J.B. Mauney (reconstructive shoulder surgery), No. 12 Matt Triplett (shoulder) and No. 33 Aaron Kleier (personal) – being unable to compete in Raleigh.
No. 36 Alex Marcilio, No. 37 J.W. Harris and No. 60 Jake Gowdy will replace them in the draw.
Gowdy (torn groin) is competing via an injury exemption. He has two exemptions remaining and has drawn Bugle Boy (1-0, BFTS).
Marcilio (26.52 points) and Harris (33.34 points) are right on the cusp of cracking the Top 35.
They have drawn Mud Duck (1-0, BFTS) and Lab Rat (7-0, BFTS), respectively.
No. 50 Michael Lane from nearby Tazewell, Virginia, will be competing as well as this weekend’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event invite.
Lane went 2-for-2 to earn the victory in Hartford, Connecticut, and an invitation to the BFTS two weeks ago. He placed third in Albany, New York, last weekend with an 85.5-point ride on Squeegee.
The 27-year-old has drawn Action Jaxon (6-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.