GREENSBORO, N.C. – Turns out the Heartbreak Kid was the perfect bull for Jess Lockwood to pick.
In the championship round bull draft at the Professional Bull Riders Unleash the Beast Wrangler Long Live Cowboy Classic at the Greensboro Coliseum, the 2017 world champion selected Heartbreak Kid.
Heartbreak Kid entered the championship round on a 38-out elite series buckoff streak, but Lockwood was ready. The 22-year-old bull rider from Volborg scored the high-marked ride of the year with a 93.75 point score in the championship round on Sunday.
And just like that, with one week to go in the regular season, Lockwood closed the gap on world standings leader Jose Vitor Leme of Brazil to 321.66 points. Lockwood entered the weekend second in the standings trailing Leme by 671.66 points.
Leme was 1 for 3 at the tour stop, scoring 87.25 points in round two aboard ZZ Top. He finished 10th overall for $2,200 and 50 points.
Lockwood placed second overall to 2016 PBR champ Cooper Davis of Jasper, Texas. Both Lockwood and Davis went 3 for 3 at the Greensboro Coliseum with Davis riding to scores of 88, 86.75 and 92.75 over the two days for an aggregate of 267.5 and 590 points. Lockwood had rounds of 87, 81.75 and 93.75 for an aggregate of 262.50 and 400 points.
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The fifth-ranked Davis earned $38,430. Lockwood collected $20,350. Overall, Lockwood has earned $464,581.80 this season.
This season, Lockwood — who missed nine top-tier events because of a broken collarbone suffered at the PBR Global Cup USA event on Feb. 9 in Arlington, Texas — has 12 round wins and nine 90-point rides.
According to an article by Justin Felisko on the PBR website, Lockwood landed on his head after his successful ride on Heartbreak Kid. The article said Lockwood was diagnosed with a cervical strain, but was OK and planned to compete at the Cooper Tires Take the Money and Ride elite series stop Oct. 18-19 in Nampa, Idaho, to close the regular season.
Mason Taylor of Maypearl, Texas, a rookie of the year contender, also went 3 for 3 to finish third for $12,800 and 280 points.
According to a tweet earlier this week by Felisko, Columbia Falls bull rider Matt Triplett has a foot/toe injury. He did not compete in Greensboro. Triplett is 17th in the world standings with 1,442.50 points and has won $82,090.58 this year.
NOTES: The PBR World Finals are Nov. 6-10 in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. ... On Saturday, Shay Marks of Sunnybrook, Alberta, was bucked off Heartbreak Kid in 2.22 seconds. According to a PBR press release, Bushwacker holds the all-time record for consecutive premier series buckoffs with 42 straight.