By: Justin Felisko
January 29, 2017
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Here are three things we learned from the Frontier Communications Sacramento Clash this weekend at the Golden 1 Center.
Outlaw dedicates performance to Pozzobon (1-29-17)
Taped to the inside of Chase Outlaw’s cowboy hat is a picture of his good friend Ty Pozzobon.
Pozzobon, who passed away earlier this month, certainly was looking down on Outlaw this weekend with that famous smile of his after Outlaw came through with a second-place finish, as well as a third-place showing in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, in Sacramento.
In fact, two of the four bulls Outlaw successfully covered in Sacramento were ridden by Pozzobon during Pozzy’s career-best, fourth-place finish at the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Outlaw first rode Big Cat for 87 points and a third-place finish in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night. Pozzobon had ridden Big Cat for a career-high 89.5 points last November.
Outlaw then capped off his weekend with an 88.5-point ride on Modified Clyde, the same bull in which Pozzobon and Outlaw had ridden for 8 seconds in Las Vegas last year.
“This was good,” Outlaw said. “I came back last weekend and I didn’t have my head together. It has been tough dealing with Ty’s death. It is the toughest thing I ever had to deal with. I honestly didn’t show up focusing about riding (last week). This weekend I told myself to stop feeling sorry for myself. He wouldn’t want that. Go cowboy up.
“I am just riding every one of them for him.”
Outlaw had also previously ridden Modified Clyde for 90.5 points at Chad Berger’s Velocity Tour event in Bismarck, North Dakota, this past summer on the same weekend he married his wife, Nicole.
The 24-year-old earned 425 points toward the world standings in Sacramento to move to 11th in the world standings.
Outlaw won Round 3 on Sunday afternoon with an 87-point ride on Thunderstruck for 100 of his 365 world points he earned in the regular BFTS event.
“That was the most perfect bull ride I have felt in the long time,” Outlaw said. “I thought I should have been a few more points. It don’t matter what the score is. When I walked out of the arena, I pump myself on the chest and know it was honky. I have confidence.”
Outlaw finished third in the event average behind Jess Lockwood and J.B. Mauney for 180 world points.
The Hamburg, Arkansas, cowboy finished Round 2 in fourth place for 40 world points with his 87.5-point ride on Mortimer.
Lockwood extends world lead to 802.5 points with third career win
World leader Jess Lockwood held off a determined J.B. Mauney to win his third career event by the skin of his teeth.
Lockwood rode BC Circular Insanity for 90 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and was able to squeak past Mauney by .25 points in the event average, which wound up being the difference maker on Sunday afternoon.
Both riders were a perfect 4-for-4 during the PBR’s first event at Golden 1 Center, but Lockwood earned 500 of his 702.5 event-winning world points by winning the event average 340 to 339.75 over Mauney.
“Oh, that was just an awesome little bull of Chad’s,” Lockwood said. “I didn’t even know he had that bull. This was the first weekend I had ever seen him. He was just right there and fit my style really good.”
Mauney, who earned 240 of his 315 world points for finishing second in the average, wound up finishing in third place during his first event back since sustaining a right hip injury at the season opener.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Marco Eguchi (3-for-4, 190 world points) and Eduardo Aparecido (3-for-4, 140 world points.
Eguchi tied with Outlaw for third in the championship round by riding Beaver Creek Beau for 88.75 points. Eguchi passed Rubens Barbosa (1-for-3) for second in the world standings.
Sunday was just the sixth time in 53 BFTS outs that Beaver Creek Beau has been ridden.
“I have seen him a lot of times and I know he is strong and had to be on the front when he jumped,” Eguchi said. “That is what I do.”
Lockwood has won two of the PBR’s first four events this season and now leads Eguchi by 802.5 points.
The 19-year-old began his weekend by winning Round 1 with an 87.5-point ride on Baton Rouge for 100 world points. In Round 2, Lockwood covered Smiling Bob for 86.5 points to tie for seventh place (2.5 points).
Lockwood then had to hang on to Naughty by Nature for 76 points in Round 3.
“I am just trying to take it one bull at a time and just do my job,” Lockwood said. “I am starting to finish a lot better, so that’s good.”
Spotted Demon named top bull
Lockwood’s only major mistake in Sacramento came during the 15/15 Bucking Battle when Spotted Demon was able to dismantle him in 4.66 seconds.
Spotted Demon was named the YETI “Built For the Wild” Bull of the Event for a 45.5-point bull score.
“That bull is dang sure good. He has some tricks to him. He is hard to stay in the middle of and not do more than you have to. I ended up doing that. I was riding him dead easy and I was trying to make more than I needed to. (Cody) Lambert said I should have started spurring him.”
Julio Moreno’s bucking bull finished ahead of 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser, who was marked 45.25 points for his 3.77 seconds of work against Paulo Lima.
Spotted Demon was making his season debut after two impressive 46-point outings at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.
“He bucks hard and he has some tricks to him,” Lockwood said. “That is the thing that will hold him back from being in contention for a world title. He bucks hard and he is a lot harder than he looks. That is what is going to hold him back.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Nevada Newman did not compete Sunday because of sprained right (free arm) shoulder. He is questionable for Anaheim.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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