By: Justin Felisko
FORT WORTH, Texas – Marco Eguchi was playing with his son, Isaac, at his ranch in Decatur, Texas, at around 3:30 p.m. when his iPhone went off.
Eguchi glanced at the number and quickly realized it was the PBR competition department calling. Esteban Bustamante could not compete at the PBR Stockyards Showcase Touring Pro Division event, and Eguchi was the next alternate on the list.
The 2018 World Finals event winner was not going to say no to the opportunity, and he swiftly gathered up his gear bag and got his family ready to make the 50-minute drive to Fort Worth.
Eguchi made sure to capitalize on his new Friday night plans inside Cowtown Coliseum a few hours later by going 2-for-2 for a second-place finish.
The No. 6-ranked bull rider in the world picked up eight world points in Fort Worth to help inch closer in the 2021 World Championship race.
“I am trying to stay in the top and give myself a chance to make good points at the World Finals and maybe get on top,” Eguchi said. “There is still a lot of events. We will see.”
Eguchi began his evening inside the historic Cowtown Coliseum with 86.75 points on Whacked Out to enter the championship round in third place. He then rode Texas Red for 85.25 points to take over the event lead until Ezekiel Mitchell surpassed him for the victory with 87.75 points on RLC-604.
Rounding out the Top 5 were Round 1 winner Clayton Sellars (1-for-2, 87.75 points), Luciano de Castro (1-for-2, 87 points) and world No. 5 Dener Barbosa (1-for-2, 86.5 points).
Eguchi is now 633 points behind world No. 1 Kaique Pacheco, who did not compete at the Stockyards Showcase, heading into next weekend’s PBR Las Vegas Invitational at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The PBR has not held an event at the MGM Grand Garden since the venue hosted the first four PBR World Finals (1994-1998). Coincidentally, the Cowtown Coliseum hosted the first PBR premier series event in 1993.
“I feel healthy and ready,” Eguchi said. “Sometimes there are small (bumps and bruises), but that is with everybody. It is much better than last year when I tore my groin.”
Eguchi is excited for the PBR’s return to Las Vegas with fans for the first time since the 2019 PBR World Finals. Last year, the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol, in Las Vegas was closed to the public.
“It is great to be back in Vegas,” Eguchi said. “That is where the World Finals is. That is the big one.”
The PBR World Finals are returning to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 3-8, and Eguchi is hopeful he can recreate his recent past success there and push for a world title.
“It is an amazing arena and an amazing event,” Eguchi said. “All the focus is in there when the World Finals happens. It is the most important event in the world for bull riding.”
Eguchi not only won the 2018 World Finals in Vegas, but he also finished third last year at the World Finals in Arlington, Texas.
Only three men in PBR history have won the World Finals multiple times – three-time winner Robson Palermo and two-time Finals champions J.B. Mauney and Troy Dunn.
“I will try for a second Finals win,” Eguchi said. “This is my goal. To be honest, my first goal is still a gold buckle. And then why not win the World Finals again?”
Professional Bull Riders – PBR Stockyards Showcase
Fort Worth, TX, 2021 – Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Ezekiel Mitchell, 86.75-87.75-174.50-15 Points.
2. Marco Eguchi, 86.75-85.25-172.00-8 Points.
3. Clayton Sellars, 87.75-0-87.75-7 Points.
4. Luciano De Castro, 87-0-87.00-4 Points.
5. Dener Barbosa, 86.5-0-86.50-3 Points.
6. Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 85.25-0-85.25-2 Points.
7. Silvano Alves, 84.25-0-84.25-1 Points.
8. Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 81.25-0-81.25
J.T. Moore, 0-0-0.00
Adriano Salgado, 0-0-0.00
Mason Ward, 0-0-0.00
Jorge Valdiviezo, 0-0-0.00
Vinell Mariano, 0-0-0.00
Ouncie Mitchell, 0-0-0.00
Fernando Henrique Novais, 0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0.00
Venn Johns, 0-0-0.00
Junio Quaresima, 0-0-0.00
Winston Lopez, 0-0-0.00
Bryan Titman, 0-0-0.00
Brandon Chambers, 0-0-0.00
Cody Jones, 0-0-0.00
Paulo Souza Rodriguez, 0-0-0.00
Anthony Hopen, 0-0-0.00
Matteo Nunez, 0-0-0.00
Cimarron Rucker, 0-0-0.00
Markel Moreno, 0-0-0.00
Austin Perkins, 0-0-0.00
Brandon Ballard, 0-0-0.00
Omar Martinez, 0-0-0.00
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
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