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Rodeo: Davis Tops Bull Riding Event

December 9, 1997

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Bull rider Jerome Davis picked the right time to hang on in the $3.4 million National Finals Rodeo.

And he picked a great time to claim the highest score in four NFR go-rounds. Davis rode Dodge Wipeout to a 91 score for first in the go-round Monday night and, for the moment, first in the world standings.

Davis rode Dodge Wipeout to claim the highest score in four National Finals Rodeo go-rounds, and his 91 gave him first in the go-round Monday night and also the world standings lead.

``I’d never seen him before and everyone I talked to didn’t know much about him,″ said Davis, one of only two of 13 riders to stay aboard their bulls Monday night. ``Most people said he’d either start to the left or to the right and then start jumping.″

The $12,309 payoff put the 1995 world champion in first place overall with $80,079 in season earnings. He’s also second in the NFR average, which pays $25,738 at the conclusion of the 10-day rodeo.

Davis leads Kelly Armstrong of Seven Persons, Alberta, by $1,668.

``Tonight was the eliminator pen,″ said Davis, of Archdale, N.C. ``About 90 percent of the bunch hasn’t been ridden.″

The only other rider to stay aboard was Scott Mendes of Weatherford, Texas. Mendes scored an 81 for second place.

The win was the third straight night in the money for Davis, who finished fifth on Saturday and third on Sunday. He’s made $21,635 at the NFR.

At the beginning of the NFR, all 15 riders were separated by only about $12,000.

``There hasn’t been anybody who really dominated this season,″ Davis said. ``I only rode in most of the big rodeos this season because of the (separate) bull riding events. When I won the world title in 1995, I rode in 114 rodeos. This year, I only went to 50.

``I was just trying to qualify for the NFR. If I got here, I figured I’d have a shot at the world title.″

In bareback riding, Deb Greenough of Red Lodge, Mont.; Eric Mouton of Weatherford, Okla.; and Lance Crump of Cooper, Texas, split first, each with 82s. Mouton, who entered the NFR in eighth, has moved up to fifth with $22,070 earned in four go-rounds.

Glenn O’Neill of Water Valley, Alberta, won for the second straight night in saddle bronc riding with an 86. Dan Etbauer of Guthrie, Okla., was second with 85, and Rod Hay of Wildwood, Alberta, was third at 82.

In steer wrestling, Tom Duvall of Henryetta, Okla., won for the third straight night with a 3.3 second run. Rope Myers of Van, Texas, was second at 3.7 seconds and his father, Butch Myers of Athens, Texas, was third at 4.0 seconds.

Fred Whitfield of Hockley, Texas, won the calf roping go-round with a 7.1 second run. Marty Becker of Manyberries, Alberta, was second at 7.6 seconds and Ronnie Hyde of Bloomington, Ind., was third at 8.6 seconds.

In team roping, Speed Williams and Rich Skelton, both of Llano, Texas, won the go-round with a 4.3 second run. Williams and Skelton also lead in the world standings, Williams with $83,330 and Skelton at $80,873.

Rube Woolsey of Dewey, Ariz., and Bret Gould of Pollok, Texas, were second at 4.4 seconds and Joe Beaver of Huntsville, Texas, and Monty Joe Petska of Carlsbad, N.M., were third at 4.7 seconds.

Ember Givens of Glen Rose, Texas, won the barrel racing with a 14.27 second run. Kristie Peterson of Elbert, Colo., was second at 14.36 seconds. Sharon Smith of Lindsey, Okla., and Tacy Lynn Johnson of Henryetta, Okla., tied for third at 14.38 seconds.

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