By: Justin Felisko
August 09, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Cody Rodeo Tyler is amidst his first true push at qualifying for the PBR World Finals, and he will begin the stretch run to the 2017 Finals close to his backyard.
Tulsa draw: Tyler ready for home state event; Byrne back 8-9-17
The Guthrie, Oklahoma, bull rider grew up 90 miles southwest of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and when the Built Ford Tough Series resumes on Saturday night Tyler will have a good group of friends and family in attendance.
“I couldn’t even tell you how many are coming, but I will have a lot of family going there,” Tyler said. “I still have tickets to get. I have a lot of family going.”
Tyler is currently 32nd in the world standings and is trying to hold onto his BFTS draw spot and qualify for his first PBR World Finals.
The 22-year-old sits 25.41 points ahead of No. 35 Brady Sims, who is recovering from a broken leg he sustained in April in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Sims and two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney, who is out for the remainder of the season following reconstructive shoulder surgery, are the only two riders in the Top 35 currently out because of injury following the summer BFTS break.
Tyler was able to maintain his Top 35 ranking this summer courtesy of a victory at the Touring Pro Division event in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.
The rookie went 2-for-2 with rides aboard Beernuts (87.5 points) and Pile Driver (86 points) in his first event with a Brazilian-style bull rope.
Tyler had decided to switch up his bull rope after dealing with a hand injury during the spring.
“My hand has still been messing with me, but that Brazilian rope hangs on to me a little better now,” Tyler said. “It is working.”
Tyler is 5-for-13 (38.46 percent) since making the switch and added that he still has some work to do to get comfortable with the rope. He was previously riding at a 31.14-percent clip.
“With my American rope, I can put my rope in the middle of the back and it won’t move,” Tyler said. “That Brazilian, I have to put it four inches down the side of them or I feel like my hand is coming completely over his back bone. Bulls into my hand, I have to push all the way across to get over there still. It is weird. Away from my hand I feel solid. It is going to take a little bit of getting used to, but I can see myself using it for a while.”
There are three riders competing in Tulsa thanks to injury exemptions from the first half of the season.
Lachlan Richardson will make his season-debut after missing the first six months of the year recovering from offseason bicep surgery.
Richardson has had a strong summer run – going 14-for-38 (36.84 percent) to jump to 39th in the world standings since making his non-BFTS season debut on May 20 in Australia.
Richardson, who has eight guaranteed BFTS events before being subject to the cutline, has drawn Something Magical (1-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Nevada Newman is returning to the BFTS after missing six months while recovering from reconstructive shoulder surgery in January. Newman is using the first of five injury exemptions, and the No. 47 rider in the world standings is 105 points behind the Top 35.
The 24-year-old finished in second-place in his second event back last weekend at the Livingston, Montana, Touring Pro Division event. Newman has drawn Landshark (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 in Tulsa.
Tanner Byrne will also be returning to the BFTS after last competing at The Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Byrne has only been able to compete at three BFTS events in 2017 because of a broken collarbone and torn groin.
Byrne is set to square off against Church Bells (4-3, BFTS) in Round 1.
In other injury-related news, No. 24 Stetson Lawrence (fractured hip) and No. 25 Mike Lee (left elbow dislocation), No. 29 Troy Wilkinson (groin strain) and No. 30 Dakota Buttar (torn elbow ligaments) are back on the BFTS after being unable to compete at Last Cowboy Standing in May.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido will be returning to the United States for the first time since Last Cowboy Standing and takes a 105-point lead on No. 2 Kaique Pacheco into Tulsa.
Aparecido will continue his pursuit of the 2017 world title when he takes on Smooth Over (4-2, BFTS).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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