By: Justin Felisko
March 19, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Ty Murray Invitational Saturday night at WisePies Arena, aka The Pit.
Marchi five rides away from 600 (3-19-17)
A fired up Guilherme Marchi is always a dangerous one in the arena, and the 2008 World Champion picked up career ride No. 595 despite Bar Down giving him fits inside the bucking chute.
Marchi nodded for the gate with five seconds remaining on the chute clock after Bar Down was crushing his inner leg, but that wouldn’t deter the 34-year-old from taking another step toward history.
Once he got out of the chute, Marchi used his upper-body strength to carry himself to 82.75 points after Bar Down tried wearing down the 14-year veteran’s legs in the chute.
Marchi is now five rides away from becoming the first rider to reach 600 career rides on the Built Ford Tough Series.
“I had a lot of problem in the chute,” Marchi said. “He was hurting my legs, but it gave me more fire. I am happy to cover that bull. I rode strong. That bull has big shoulders. I tried to get under my rope, but he didn’t give me chance, but I knew that bull was going to be a good out. He is one jump and right there to the right.”
Marchi finished Round 2 in 11th place, but he is 2-for-2 and fourth overall in the event average heading into Championship Sunday.
He will go for ride 596 against Wired Child (20-3, BFTS) in Round 3.
“My family is so proud,” Marchi said. “They make me happy. My fans love me. PBR thinks about me too. I have been here for 14 years and have done a lot.”
Aparecido wins Round 2 to extend world lead
World leader Eduardo Aparecido knows he can’t let opportunities slip past him during his pursuit of the 2017 World Championship, and he will head into Sunday with a chance to extend his lead over No. 2 Jess Lockwood to 1,000 points or more.
Aparecido won Round 2 with 88.75 points on Mudshark as he took care of business against the D&H Cattle Company bovine athlete away from his hand.
“He is a very good and strong bull,” Aparecido said. “It is a good score tonight. This is good competition against the Top-35 bull riders. My confidence is good.”
The 26-year-old picked up 100 points toward the world standings and leads the injured Lockwood by 987.5 points.
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis finished in second with an 88.5-point ride on Udder Lover. Davis picked up 60 world points for the performance.
Three riders – Shane Proctor (Cooper’s Comet), Dakota Buttar (VJV Nailed) and 2016 PBR Brazil Champion Dener Barbosa (Biker Bob) – turned in matching 88.25-point scores to tie for third place in the round.
Proctor and Buttar both had rematches in Round 2, while Barbosa covered his re-ride bull, Biker Bob.
All three riders earned 40 world points.
Not only did Aparecido increase his lead on Lockwood, but he is also ahead of every rider in the Top 10 of the world standings competing at this event outside of Chase Outlaw, who is 2-for-2 and sitting third overall.
Outlaw followed up the 100th ride of his career Friday by riding Texicali for 86.75 points on Saturday.
The only other Top 10 riders with qualified rides are Davis and Marco Eguchi, who was tossed into the stands during Round 2 by Too Smooth (6.52 seconds).
Aparecido takes on GOOD RIDE’s Jailbreaker (15-1, BFTS) in Round 3.
He had bucked off three bulls in a row prior to his fifth round win of 2017.
“This is a lot of (world) points,” Aparecido said. “Last night my rope slipped inside. The bull spun right and my rope went to the side and I bucked off. Tonight, I put my rope in the same spot and it didn’t.”
Wing & Nance on pace for first victories since 2014
Stormy Wing, Cody Nance and Outlaw may not have won Round 2 on Saturday night, but all three riders made impressive bull rides of their own to put themselves in contention for the event victory along with Marchi.
Wing – Friday night’s Round 1 winner – finished sixth in the round with a high-flying 88 points on Cracker Breaker and is leading the event average.
“I am just having fun riding bulls again,” Wing said. “I love J.B. Mauney and I feed off him. He is my hero. He tells me every day to just do what you love and not think about anything else.”
Nance finished tied for seventh in the round with an aggressive 87.25-point ride on 2016 World Champion Bull contender Crossfire to finish the evening second in the event average.
The 2009 Rookie of the Year was gritting his teeth in excitement as the adrenaline rush of the ride overwhelmed him behind the chutes.
“I had my hammer cocked,” Nance said. “I knew he was rank. I got my rope good and sticky. I said, ‘Let me have him.’
“That bull bucked in there a couple times. I was thinking, ‘Fight, Fight Fight. Grab, Grab Grab.’ I didn’t know what he was going to do. It worked out. Praise God.”
Nance is 31st in the world standings, but is in contention for his first event victory since April 2014 (Billings, Montana).
Wing – the No. 25 bull rider in the world standings – also last won an event in 2014 (Oakland, California).
Nance takes on Juicy Fruit (0-1, BFTS) in Round 3, and Wing will attempt 8 seconds on Little Deacon (1-0, BFTS).
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Tanner Byrne will not be competing on Sunday after aggravating his left groin strain attempting to ride Chocolate Shake (1.85 seconds) in Round 2.
Cody Jesus bruised his left elbow (free arm) and sustained a right costochondral sprain in Round 2 against Bandy’s Bad Boy (3.76 seconds).
Cody Rodeo Tyler bruised his left shoulder and bruised his right ankle attempting to ride Shocker (5.23 seconds) in Round 2.
J.W. Harris strained his left groin (hip adductor) during his 86.25-point ride on Chute Boss in Round 1.
Ryan Dirteater is competing with a left rib sprain from his Round 1 buckoff against Losing My Religion (3.19 seconds).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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