By: Justin Felisko
March 29, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – In 2016, Mason Lowe began his slow breakthrough toward a career-year with a 91-point ride on SweetPro’s Bruiser in Oklahoma City and then a 90-point ride on Brutus to win the Ty Murray Invitational.
Lowe, Outlaw continuing to make strides; Sioux Falls draw notes (3-29-17)
Lowe was unable to defend his Murray crown this year because of a right hip pointer, but continued his growth as a Top-10 bull rider by returning to competition and going a perfect 3-for-3 last weekend at the Ak-Chin Invitational.
The No. 7 ranked bull rider in the world standings finally broke through in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round by riding Tractor Tippin for 90.5 points to end a 0-for-5 skid in the championship round.
“Oh, it was a good bull,” Lowe said. “He went right and had a little drop toward the end. You start to feeling good and you go to spurring something.”
Lowe wound up finishing in second-place, two points behind in the event average, after deciding to keep his 79-point score (Johnny B) in Round 2 after riding Grandpa Joe for 86.75 points in Round 1.
“I had a good event,” Lowe added. “Any time you go 3-for-3 or 4-for-4 is pretty good. I am feeling good. I kind of got a little sored up from the second round, but not as bad as last week so I will be ready for Sioux Falls.”
Lowe will take on JJ (1-1, BFTS) in Round 1 of the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational.
The 23-year-old is one of six riders in the Top 10 of the world standings 24 years or younger.
Lowe is riding at a 45.71 percent ratio – a 9.5 percent increase from his career average (36.18 percent) and is well on his way to setting a new career-high for qualified rides. He is already 16-for-35 and should surpass his 2016 total of 22 before the summer break.
Also coming through in the championship round was Chase Outlaw.
Outlaw, 24, moved up to No. 3 in the world standings by riding Sully for 89.25 points.
He had previously bucked off five in a row in the championship round.
“Man you just have to keep pushing forward,” he said. “It don’t matter what you got. You just have to give it to them 110 percent every time.”
Outlaw continues his pursuit of the world No. 1 ranking when he takes on Thunder’s Cartel (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1 on Friday night.
The man above Outlaw in the standings – No. 2 Jess Lockwood – is returning to competition after missing five events because of a torn left groin.
Lockwood takes on Get Smoked (4-2, BFTS) in Round 1, while world leader Eduardo Aparecido takes on Wild Sky’s (2-0, BFTS). Aparecido leads Lockwood by 1,217.5 points.
Going back on the injury list is Robson Palermo after the three-time World Finals event winner sustained a concussion when he was bucked off by Springer Mountain Stryker in Round 2 (3.18 seconds).
Joining Palermo on the not competing list is No. 15 Shane Proctor (right wrist), No. 31 J.W. Harris (left groin), No. 35 Nevada Newman (reconstructive shoulder surgery), No. 68 Wallace de Oliveira (ankle), No. 145 Tanner Byrne (groin/hamstring), Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg).
No. 39 Alex Marcilio, No. 40 Emilio Resende and No. 42 Kyle Jones will be competing as alternates.
This weekend will be Marcilio’s season debut and third event of his career. The 28-year-old hasn’t competed on the BFTS in three years.
Marcilio is 14-for-21 in 10 Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour events for 155 world points. He is 60 points outside of the Top 35.
The Macaubal, Brazil, bull rider takes on Switch Hitter (2-2, BFTS) in Round 1 and hasn’t bucked off two bulls in a row all season.
The Sioux Falls Velocity Tour event invite is No. 37 Robson Aragao.
Aragao went 3-for-3 to win the Bangor, Maine, Velocity Tour event on March 11.
The 37-year-old is only 15 points behind the Top 35, but he is 3-for-15 in six BFTS events and has bucked off four consecutive bulls.
Aragao has drawn Smooth Over (4-1, BFTS) for Round 1.
15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
Dener Barbosa vs. Stone Sober (45-3, BFTS)
Silvano Alves vs. Hey Jack (15-0, BFTS)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Smooth Operator (36-3, BFTS)
Ryan Dirteater vs. Pearl Harbor (23-2, BFTS)
J.B. Mauney vs. Burn It Down (8-1, BFTS)
Stormy Wing vs. Cochise (21-4, BFTS)
Marco Eguchi vs. Jack Shot (16-2, BFTS)
Cooper Davis vs. Air Time (30-1, BFTS)
Mason Lowe vs. Bad Beagle (8-1, BFTS)
Rubens Barbosa vs. Seven Dust (24-1, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. SweetPro’s Bruiser (30-7, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. TLW’s Big Cat (24-1, BFTS)
Chase Outlaw vs. Mystikal (9-0, BFTS)
Jess Lockwood vs. BC Circular Insanity (8-1, BFTS)
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Speed Demon (5-2, BFTS)
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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