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World Finals Preview: Matt Triplett

PUEBLO, Colo. – With four days remaining until the Built Ford Tough World Finals begins inside the Thomas & Mack Center, PBR.com takes a look at the riders who are still mathematically alive in the race for the 2015 World Championship.

No. 4 Matt Triplett

World Championships: 0
Best World Finals Finish:
5th (2014, 3-for-6)
2015 BFTS Stats:
Rides
: 31
Attempts: 73
Riding Percentage: 42.47 percent
Top Ride: 90.75 points on Delco in Chicago

Wins: 2 (Oklahoma City; Anaheim, California)
15/15 Bucking Battle Victories: 1 (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
Round Wins:
7
Top 10: 14
Top 5: 6
90-point Rides: 3
Last 10: 3-for-10
Best regular-season performance: Triplett won the first two events of his BFTS career by notching 615 points in Oklahoma City and Anaheim, California.

Even though he bucked off Cooper Tires Brown Sugar in Oklahoma City’s championship round, it was an otherwise flawless weekend for the Montana bull rider. Triplett split Round 1 with J.B. Mauney with his 89-point ride on Spin Machine, won Round 2 with 90 points aboard American Sniper and rode Hou’s Back for 87 points in Round 3.

After going 0-for-5 in the championship round prior to Anaheim, Triplett finally got to shed that goose egg from his stat line by riding Mr. Bull for 89 points to win his BFTS-leading fifth round of the season at the time and clinch his second BFTS victory in three weeks. He also rode Super Cella for 85.5 points in Round 3 and El Capitan for 87 points in Round 2.

Noteworthy: Triplett has developed quite the knack for riding well in Las Vegas, especially at the World Finals. He is 6-for-12 in two World Finals appearances and has been able to remain focused and composed on the PBR’s biggest stage. He followed up his ninth-place 2013 finish with a fifth-place performance last year, where he rode Walk Off for a career-high 92 points.

Triplett made the next progression in his young career this season and was ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the world standings for 16 events, including eight consecutive weeks in the No. 1 position.

The Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider needs to win all six rounds and the event average to overcome his 2,172.5-point deficit in the world standings. Not to mention, he would also need an ultimate collapse by world leader J.B. Mauney to have any chance at making an unbelievable comeback.

That kind of rally is highly unlikely, but Triplett could still cap his banner year with his first career World Finals event victory and finish in the Top 3 of the world standings for the second consecutive season.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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