Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011 | 5:20 p.m.
Silvano Alves held on to his sizable lead to win the Professional Bull Riders world title and $1 million bonus, and Robson Palermo jumped from fourth to first place Sunday to take home $250,000 as the winner of the six-round event at Thomas & Mack Center.
Alves, from Pilar Do Sul, Brazil, finished with a 2,706.25-point margin over Palermo, from Rio Branco, Brazil, for his first PBR season title. He earned just over $1.4 million in 2011.
Alves scored 88.25 on Big Iron in the fifth round, and was third with a 92.25 on Yellow Jacket Jr. in the championship round, both Sunday.
"That (Yellow Jacket Jr.) was a really hard bucking bull," Alves said. "He bucked away from my hand to make it more difficult to ride him. It took everything that I know how to do, all my knowledge, to stay on his back. I knew that I had to ride him today.
"I managed to do this without becoming injured this year. All I can really say is that I'm going to keep trying next year to do it again. I can't predict what will happen, and I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing."
Palermo, who earned $301,000 in the event and $618,00 overall for 2011, won the championship round with a 93.25 on King of Hearts that propelled him to his second event title with 446.25 points.
Caleb Sanderson of Kissimmee, Fla., who was second in the championship round with a 92.5 on RMEF Gunpowder and Lead, finished second in the event standings with 440.75 points. Alves was third with 434.5.
"I was bucked off one bull and rode the rest," Palermo said. "My shoulder has been bothering me, but I tried hard and kept going and gave everything I got."
Rubens Barbosa of Monte Aprazivel, Brazil, took the event lead in round five and clinched the 2011 PBR Rookie of the Year Award with a score of 92.5 on Priceless.
Barbosa's fourth successful ride in five rounds gave him 357.25 points and put him ahead of Sanderson, who was bucked off Unser Racing Bull in 5.18 seconds in round five. Sanderson was the lone rider to have ridden all of his first four bulls for a score.
Barbosa entered the championship round ahead of Palermo with 353 points, Guilherme Marchi of Leme, Brazil, with 351, Sanderson with 348.25, Alves with 342.5 and J.B. Mauney of Mooresville, N.C., with 333.5. The top six were the lone riders to have gone 4-for-5 over the first five rounds.
Barbosa was trying to become the third competitor to claim the event and Rookie of the Year titles during the same year of this 18-year-old event. Luke Snyder (2001) and Jody Newberry (2003) were the rookies who had won the PBR World Finals.
"For me it's a very big deal to win Rookie of the Year, especially because I got here halfway through the year," Barbosa said. "I think it's really difficult to win with only half a season, so for me it's an awesome honor."
Bushwacker, who has bucked off his last 26 riders and is 28-1 overall, claimed the 2011 Bull of the Year Award. He ended the championship hopes of Mauney when he bucked him off in the championship round. Bushwacker was 14-0 in 2011.