NEW YORK — Riding in a venue where he has found plenty of success, reigning Professional Bull Riders world champion Jess Lockwood saved his best ride for last on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Lockwood scored a crowd-pleasing 91.75-point ride on Lil 2 Train to win the championship round and record the high-marked ride of the PBR Unleash The Beast Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden. The score propelled him to a third-place finish and $23,850 and 121.5 world standings points.

The event, which Lockwood won last year and in 2017 when he also captured the world championship, was the season-opening stop on the premier series tour and is one of the circuit’s majors.

Earlier Sunday, Lockwood bounced back after being bucked off in round two on Saturday. The 22-year-old Volborg bull rider put himself back in the hunt when he scored an 86.75-point ride in the third round aboard JC’s Gangster.

During the opening round Friday, Lockwood tied for third after an 88.25-point performance. Lockwood is third in the world standings, 70.5 points behind Joao Ricardo Vieira of Brazil.

Vieira was 4-for-4 at the major and finished his perfect weekend with an 87.25-point effort aboard Bezerk. Vieira, 35, earned $109,000 and 192 points. Kaique Pacheco, also of Brazil and the only other rider to cover all of his bulls, finished second. He earned $21,350 and 127.5 points.

Another Treasure State bull rider, Matt Triplett of Columbia Falls, placed 10th. Triplett had a score of 79.75 in the first round, did not earn a score in the second round and had a third-round score of 88.75. Triplett had an aggregate score of 168.5 and earned 32 points.

The tour will next stop in Chicago Jan. 11-12. Last year, Lockwood stormed to victory in the Windy City to start the season with two straight wins.

The series returns to First Interstate Arena at MetraPark April 17-19.

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