The draw for the Greensboro Invitational Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event on Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th is highlighted by the return of the man who was missing last from Minneapolis last weekend; the sports most popular rider JB Mauney, returns to competition after being sidelined September, 22 at the U.S. Border Patrol Invitational in Fairfax, VA.
Mauney, a Tar Heel state native, now calls Cotulla, TX his home, has long been associated with North Carolina and his last victory in North Carolina came courtesy of an 89-point ride on SuperFreak in 2013. Mauney, who has been riding professionally since he was 19, opted-out of the Twin Cities event to allow his shoulder and knee injuries to heal. He’s currently No. 28 in the world as he angles in on his 14th straight World Finals appearance.
The 32-year-old veteran has drawn Why Hell Ya (0-1) for his return in round one. World No. 3 Chase Outlaw rode this bull for 88 points earlier this year. Given JB’s experience and toughness – he won an event with a broken leg – the edge of this matchup goes to JB.
Title Race contenders Matchups
Jose Vitor Leme, the world No. 1 bull rider who was 1-3 in the Twin Cities comes into Greensboro with a 671.66 point lead over Jess Lockwood in the title race, initially facing Silent Night (1-0). This matchup might be one to watch as Jose looks to bounce back from a disappointing weekend in Minneapolis. The edge here goes to Leme, due to looking to rally after a less-than-desirable outcome last weekend.
Lockwood has drawn Red Solo Cup (0-1). Jess has momentum coming into Greensboro, after winning league-best fourth bonus event, the season’s final 15/15 Bucking Battle, with an impressive 91.50 point ride on Bad Beagle, along with placing third in the overall event with an 87-point ride on Tulsa Time and 89-point ride on Gambini in the championship round. Those rides allowed Jess to leave Minneapolis with 270 points and cut into Leme’s lead. Lockwood, who told PBR Insider Justin Felisko, he’d been under the weather for several weeks but now feels better, is heating up after spending a week at his family’s ranch in Montana and breaking a cold streak in the Twin Cities. Felisko also shared a stat on just how good Jess has been in clutch situations: he’s an incredible 14 for 18 18 in championship rounds this year. The edge goes to Lockwood as he appears to be focused on regaining the top spot in the standings.
Chase Outlaw, the world No. 3 bull rider has drawn a rather rank and tough bull for round one. Fearless (19-4). Outlaw is focused on responding to his 1-3 showing in Minneapolis, w here he came a hair away from riding Sky Harbor in the championship round. Fearless has given up three consecutive 90-plus point rides in the last three consecutive outs. Fearless might be a rank bull, but Outlaw may surprise everyone and make it four consecutive 90-plus point outs for Fearless this Saturday.
Joao Ricardo Viera, world No. 4 ranked bull rider, has drawn Sambuca for round one. Joao was also 1-3 in Minneapolis after a great 89.25-point ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Soup In A a Group, netting 75 world points. Given Sambuca’s current record and Joao now being able to ride bulls in both directions – into and away from his hand – this matchup may favor Joao.
Looking at the draw, fans will be seeing some compelling matchups affecting the world title race. Leme Could rebuild his lead, or one of the three cowboys looking up at him in the standings could mimic Lockwood last weekend and with some big rides chip away at Leme’s lead.
Fans who are unable to attend the Greensboro Invitational will be able to watch all the action as PBR will broadcast the event on the subscription-based digital network RidePass. Round one action starts at 6:30 P.M. EST Saturday, October 12th.