With one regular-season event remaining and a week-long Finals event following an off-week, Mauney is third in the world standings and a favorite among many insiders to win his third world title in the past four years. He also happens to be the reigning World Champion, having come from this position to win the 2015 title and also came from outside of the Top 10 in the second half of 2013 to claim his first title.
“I feel good,” said Mauney, and rightfully so.
After missing three elite televised PBR events, he returned two weeks ago and promptly won the event in Nampa, Idaho, to remind everyone that no one has been better at late-season heroics over the past 10 years than Mauney.
After riding Lifting Lives in the final round last weekend, Mauney simply said, “I did my job. The rest will take care of itself.”
Not a bad weekend for a guy, who 24 hours earlier, limped out of the arena.
“My wonderful dismounts,” he said, shrugging it off. “I hit like a pile of crap most of the time. I’m fine.”
He added, “That was a good bull for your first one. I couldn’t ask for any more. … Hopefully I stay on another one, come back in the short round and try to win two in a row.”
He finished second, last weekend, in San Jose, California.
He’s now just 520 points from the No. 1 ranking in the world, a position he held for six weeks earlier this season.
In San Jose, he went 3-for-3.
He has ridden seven of his past 10 bulls and 12 of 18 since the summer break.
His overall 56.76 percent average, which includes elite and lower level PBR events, is the highest of any rider ranked in the Top 35 of the PBR standings.
Mauney is regarded for his ability to win when the pressure is intense.
In an article posted on the PBR website, Mauney said, “I tend not to worry about what happened last year or anything. I tend to look at what I have to do right now. It will all come down to the Finals. As long as you lay everything on the table, you can just let the chips fall where they may.”
The statement was classic Mauney.
He’s focused only on this week’s final regular-season event in Tucson, Arizona, where he still has a chance to overtake the top spot in the standings before arriving in Vegas.
The final two cities are separated by 400 miles and a $1 million.
And as Mauney was quoted on the PBR site, “This is a pretty good time.”