FORT WORTH, Texas – Resistol team ropers Nelson Wyatt and Tyler Worley know a thing or two about winning big money.
While roping with different partners two years ago at the National Finals Rodeo inside Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, each man collected big money over a 10-day stretch. Now that they’re together, Wyatt and Worley stand to cash in even bigger during the final performance of The American, set for noon Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Neither cowboy earned a chance to compete at the NFR this past December, but that’s what sets them up so well this weekend. They advanced to The American through a series of qualifying events and won the first round Friday at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth with a 4.53-second run. As qualifiers, they are eligible for the $2 million side pot.
“That’s life-changing money, and it gets you really excited to rope for that kind of money,” said Worley, a heeler from Berryville, Arkansas.
Friday’s opening round featured 16 teams, with 10 having earned an exemption by finishing among the leaders of the 2021 world standings. Each event’s contestant that wins will pocket $100,000, but the qualifiers who claim the crown will earn at least a share of the side pot. That means if the Resistol tandem wins the top prize and no other qualifiers do, then each man will pocket $1.1 million.
Only the fastest 10 runs from Friday’s round move on to Sunday, and Wyatt and Worley lead the pack. There are four other Resistol cowboys that are eligible for the side pot: the team of Bubba Buckaloo and Joseph Harrison; header Cory Kidd, roping with Lane Mitchell; and heeler Clay Futrell, roping with Brock Hanson.
Other Resistol teams in field for Sunday are Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp and Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves. They will be joined by header Clay Smith and heeler Jake Long.
Wyatt, of Clanton, Alabama, finished the 2020 campaign fourth in the heading world standings and third in the NFR average. Worley, roping with Jeff Flenniken, placed second in the aggregate and seventh in the standings; the year before, he was 11th in the world standings.
Each man makes living roping, and they have a chance at an incredible salary for 2022.