WNFR Journal: Round 2

Fine wine, cheese and some of the PRCA's crusty old veterans all seem to get better with age.

Clint Corey was just one of the seasoned citizens who excelled in Round 2 Saturday night. On a night when the big horses were out in bareback riding, Corey was ridin' high. He tried to retire a couple of times in the late-90s, but when you are healthy and still making money and the Wrangler NFR, why not keep going? At 42, he gave the kids a lesson last night.

Rod Lyman should have been in movies. With his size and his unique voice, he would have been great in a western. He's won $1.3 million in his career, $22,967 over the first two rounds of this year's Wrangler NFR, and jumped from 14th to sixth in the world standings. Lyman's year may have a Hollywood ending.

Dan Mortensen rules. Last year he and Glen O'Neill played a game of trading places. Mortensen came to Vegas ranked No. 1 and left in second place. O'Neill came in No. 2 and left on top. Mortensen has a chance to return the favor this year after rocking the house last night with a round winning 90-point ride — shades of his arena record 92 on Painted Smile last year.

Forget Freddy vs. Jason. It's Freddy versus the world in tie-down roping, and that's exactly the way Fred Whitfield likes it. Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes and a positive response from Whitfield when the pressure is on. Tie-down roping remains way too close to call.

There were more 90s last night in bull riding than you can find at a local retirement home. Terry Don West recovered from his first-round buck-off to win with a ho-hum 95. The timing could not have been better because Mike Moore, who is sitting at No. 2 in the world, was winning the round with a 92.5. Moore damaged the bicep on his riding arm and now has more to worry about more than just TDW.

So let's put the old guys who won last night in perspective. Corey, Lyman, Mortensen, Whitfield, and West combine for some pretty impressive numbers, starting with the fact that their average age is 38. Lyman and Corey are deans at 42. Mortensen is the youngest with his 35th birthday just a few days away. Together, the five have qualified for 63 WNFR appearances and won 15 world titles.