By: Justin Felisko
September 10, 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the PFIWestern.com Invitational on Friday night at JQH Arena.
Mauney returns from injury with second-place finish (9-10-16)
If there were any concerns about J.B. Mauney being rusty following a week off, the two-time World Champion put them to rest quickly. Mauney rode Flat Top Pete for 86.5 points and a second-place finish in Round 1.
“That bull is really good,” Mauney said. “Riley (Samford) told me before I got on him he could go any way and, shoot, it worked out.”
Mauney finished second in the round for 60 world points, but the bigger takeaway was that Mauney felt no lingering effects from his left hip pointer/abdominal contusion that kept him out of last weekend’s event in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
“I feel good,” Mauney said. “Nothing is hurting. I felt like I rode him like I am supposed to and made a decent dismount.”
Mauney is third in the world standings and trails world leader Cooper Davis by 640 points. The Mooresville, North Carolina, cowboy is trying to become the second rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles.
Mauney fell behind in the world title race by 302.7 points last weekend in Thackerville after Davis and Kaique Pacheco finished in second and third-place. He explained Friday night that was the least of his concerns.
“It don’t matter who is sitting first, second, third or whatever,” Mauney said. “I know as long as I do my job the rest will take care of itself. I really don’t worry about the standings or who is first or third or where you are sitting. You have a job to do and that is to show up and ride your bull.”
Mauney has drawn for El Diablo (1-0, BFTS) Round 2 on Saturday night before a monster rematch against Pearl Harbor during the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Mauney bested Pearl Harbor (15-2, BFTS) for 94.25 points earlier this season in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“I was joking with someone the other day that two weeks ago there was a $75,000 bounty on him if you rode him and I said I would just wait until I can ride him for $7,500,” Mauney said. “I don’t care that I got him. He is a good bull. That is what I am looking forward to. Getting on the buckers.”
Davis extends world lead on Pacheco with tie for third-place
It wasn’t anything special, but Davis’ 84.5-point effort on Cool Hand Lukehelped him extend his world lead to 64.67 points on Pacheco.
Davis tied with Ryan Dirteater (84.5 points on Gear Jammer) for third place in the round and earned 45 points toward the world standings.
“That is just a really good bull and I was 86.5 on him last week,” Davis said. “It is just one that you want. Heck, it is good one to get a first ride down on.”
Pacheco had a qualified ride wiped off the scoreboard after a judges’ review ruled the 21-year-old had slapped Swamp Wreck at the 0.97-second mark. It was the fastest buckoff of Pacheco’s career.
Pacheco was not happy with the call and shook his head on his way to the locker room. He then pointed at his head, signaling it was a crazy call.
Davis said he wasn’t fazed by Mauney’s 86.5-point ride moments earlier or by Pacheco’s lack of a qualified ride.
“You know those guys are going to stay on their fair share of bulls and I have to do the same,” Davis said. “It is the same gameplan that we have had. That is staying on bulls. That is all of our gameplans.”
Davis will take on Line Me Up (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2 and Hey Jack (4-0, BFTS) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
It wasn’t all good news for Davis. Following Round 1, he was in the PBR Sports Medicine room icing the shoulder he injured in Tulsa.
“I mean I just kind of got strung out just a touch,” Davis said. “Heck, it is just bothering me a bit.”
Lee wins Round 1; bucks off $5,000 bounty bull
2004 World Champion Mike Lee came within milliseconds of winning last weekend in Thackerville, Oklahoma, before Buckle Up tossed him to the ground at the 7.26-second mark.
Lee didn’t waste any time in Springfield and built off his 2-for-3 performance in Thackerville by winning Round 1 with an 87.5-point ride on Organized Crime.
“Man that was wild,” Lee said. “He nearly threw me into the fence. Ah, H.D.’s bulls are kind of hot.”
Lee then paused and headed off to get his rope ready for his $5,000 bounty bull matchup with Bootdaddy.com. Lee was bucked off in 2.97 seconds.
The Decatur, Texas, cowboy’s ride on Organized Crime was his third highest this season. Lee earned 100 points toward the world standings courtesy of his second BFTS round win this year.
Lee has now ridden three of his last five after bucking off 10 in row since reaching the 500 career rides mark. He will face Snoball (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2 and Stone Sober (33-1, BFTS) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
There were a total of eight rides in Round 1.
World No. 6 Eduardo Aparecido earned 30 world points with a fifth-place finish, and Fabiano Vieira rode Face The Time (82.75 points) for a seventh-place finish and five world points.
Vieira had to grit his way through his left shoulder injury and joined Davis in sports medicine following the round to receive ice and treatment.
Exeter, Missouri, native Mason Lowe rode Alabama Slammer for 79.5 points and a huge ovation.
“It is better than falling off like I had been,” Lowe said. “I had been telling myself I was either going to hang up or ride one.”
Lowe wasn’t sure how many friends and family were in attendance:
“I don’t really have a clue. I just heard a bunch of them hollering.”
The 22-year-old finished second last year in Springfield and would love to celebrate his 23rd birthday Monday knowing he was victorious inside the JQH Arena this weekend.
“They try to say it is the toughest to ride when you are closer to home, but I have always done good here in Springfield,” Lowe said. “I have won a bunch of amateur bull ridings here.”
You could hear a pin drop in JQH Arena on Friday as Tyler Harr lay unconscious on the arena dirt after taking a massive shot to the head from Little Tim’s All Nighter. Harr was diagnosed with a concussion by Dr. Tandy Freeman and is questionable for Round 2.
Cody Nance is probable for Round 2 after sustaining a chest wall contusion when he was stepped on by Pale Rider after Nance reach the 8-second mark for 83.75 points.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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