LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 3 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Friday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
No title just yet for Mauney
J.B. Mauney took care of his business on Friday night, but he will have to wait at least one more day to be crowned the 2015 World Champion.
Mauney rode Say Goodbye for 86.5 points, although his sixth-place finish in the round was not good enough for him to eliminate No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira and No. 3 Kaique Pacheco from the world title race.
The Thomas & Mack Center crowd was not happy with the score and erupted with a series of boos toward the judges.
“That was pretty cool,” Mauney said after laughing. “The judges got it right. It was just a good bull.”
Mauney heads into Round 4 on Saturday in prime position of winning his second career gold buckle.
Vieira and Pacheco will both have to be within 1,400 points of Mauney and still be in contention for the World Finals event average title heading into Sunday or else the world title race will be officially over.
Currently, Vieira trails Mauney by 1,515 points and Pacheco is 1,522.5 points behind the No. 1 ranking.
Vieira rode Mr. Bull for 86 points to finish the round in ninth place, while Pacheco was bucked off by Pound The Alarm in 5.05 seconds.
The 28-year-old is currently third in the event average and is also in position to win the World Finals event title for a record-tying third time.
In terms of the World Championship, Mauney wasn’t thinking about clinching the world title on Friday.
“Nah, I just wanted to ride my bull,” Mauney said. “You don’t worry about the end result. This is an event in itself. I showed up here wanting to win the event I am at.”
Cooper Davis continuing to roll right along
Current World Finals event leader Cooper Davis was caught out of position midway through his 87.5-point ride on Compact before confidently readjusting himself and smoothly working his way to his third qualified ride of the Finals.
Davis said everything is just slowing down for him at exactly the right moment and that it is much easier to make a confident readjustment when you are riding so well.
“Tonight everything was going a lot slower,” Davis said. “I felt like I was in the right place. When I wasn’t, I felt like I could slow down when I needed to do. It is not as blurry when things are not going as right. When you have all of the confidence in the world, you know the move you are going to make is the right one.”
Davis placed third in the round and earned 100 points toward the world standings. He is now ranked 11th in the world.
Bonner Bolton is second in the event average following his 86.25-point ride on Percolator.
Davis and Bolton are the only two riders a perfect 3-for-3 on the weekend.
2001 World Finals event winner Luke Snyder was sitting across from Davis in the locker room when the rookie was describing his performance at the Finals.
Snyder won the Finals as an 18-year-old rookie.
“That would be cool to follow in his footsteps,” Davis said. “It is a dream come true for me to be here and leading it right now. You kind of have to pinch yourself and take it all in.”
Snyder said, “He definitely made me think about the old days a little bit and what it was like for me.”
This year’s Ring of Honor inductee said it didn’t hit him that he truly had a chance at winning the Finals until he rode Slick Willy for 90 points.
“He had bucked me off to win a really big event in Fort Worth and I think he got me somewhere else. That was the third time I had him and I just remember feeling really confident when I got on him and expecting to ride him. Then after I did ride him, I just knew I was in the zone. After about the second round I knew I really had a shot.”
Alves records first career round win at World Finals
Silvano Alves entered Friday night 26-for-32 in his career at the World Finals.
However, he had never won a round at the Finals.
Alves crossed another item off his dazzling PBR resume by riding Rebel Yell for 89 points to win Round 3 for his first career World Finals round win.
“Being here five years in a row, and this is the first round I’ve actually won, it just feels really good to be able to achieve this,” said the three-time World Champion.
Alves earned 200 world points for the round win and is up to ninth in the world standings.
The defending World Finals event-winner is fourth in the event average and could become the second back-to-back World Finals event winner on Sunday afternoon.
Robson Palermo completed the feat in 2011-12.
Alves is 2-for-3 and this week is the first event he has posted two qualified rides since breaking his left hip in Nampa, Idaho, in April.
“I am definitely happy to be back,” Alves said. “I am always happy when I come to this venue and get to the World Finals. Even if I am not fighting for the world title, I am glad that I was able to cover those two bulls. They were great rides for me. I am just happy I am back at 100 percent and back to my old self and that I am healthy. I am back to being myself again.”
Rounding out the Top 5 in the round was Matt Triplett (88 points on Little Willie), Davis, Stetson Lawrence (87.25 points on Time Bomb) and Tanner Byrne (86.75 points on Minion Stewart).
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Palermo and Alexandre Cardozo both were transported to University Hospital Trauma Center after each being bucked off onto their heads during Round 3.
Both riders are listed as doubtful for Round 4.
Palermo said on Twitter early Saturday morning that he had been released from the hospital with no broken bones.
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.