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Chase Outlaw rides D&H Cattle Company's Air Marshall for 89.5 during the first round of the Built Ford Tough series PBR World Finals


Dec 282016

Chase Outlaw is having fun again. That can only mean one thing. The Monster Energy bull rider is pissed off. “Yeah,” he said. “You gotta have fun and you gotta be mad at that sonofabitch. It gets you fired up. It’s like a fistfight. You ain’t going to let anybody hit you first.” The sonofabitch he’s talking about is a 2,000-pound bull. It’s a mindset where the 24-year-old young gun from Hamburg, Arkansas, is proactive when it comes to winning the matchup as opposed to reactive. So, yes, he’s been quite the aggressor of late.

Outlaw, whose 2016 season didn’t start until May, finished out this past season strong.


He won the lower level PBR title event, in Vegas, a week after winning the final elite televised regular-season PBR event in Tucson, Arizona, and then won the opening round of the PBR World Finals.


He won nine events at the elite and lower levels in all. It’s an impressive feat made all the more impressive when considering he accomplished it in half the amount of time.


He finished the year ranked a career-best 14th in the world standings, which also led to a career-best-earnings of more than $240,000 last year.


Not a bad income for six months of work.


And not a bad ending to a season that started four months later than everyone else in the Top 35 after undergoing back-to-back should surgeries that ruined an otherwise great 2015 season. Not to mention, he missed another month shortly after returning.


“It’s a big difference,” said Outlaw, comparing this past October to last January. “It was frustrating having to start in May, but shit you take the good out of everything. Something good was bound to come out of it. I just kept pushing forward and had a good Finals. I finished out the year strong.”


Outlaw rode a career best 52 percent of his bulls in 2016, which was a five-year best and the third year in a row he improved his conversion rate of qualified rides versus the dreaded buckoffs.


Not to mention, he rode 10 of 13 bulls leading up the season finale in Vegas, where he rode another three of six bulls. That was also a career-best for Outlaw, who has now qualified for the PBR World Finals in all five years of his professional career.


“You gotta just keep the pedal to the metal,” said Outlaw. “It’s just like a garden man, you just gotta dig it.”


It’s like what?


“Like a garden,” said Outlaw, who seamlessly juxtaposed between comparing himself to a prizefighter and a master gardener. 


Either way, he’s having fun.


Asked about the key to his strong finish, in 2016, and Outlaw again said, “Having fun.”


His next opportunity is Friday, Jan. 6, in New York, when the 2017 season opens with the Monster Energy Buckoff at the Garden. The three-day event, which is the first of four PBR Majors, will take place at Madison Square Garden.