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Williams repeats as champ
Rider postponed Tommy John surgery for shot at top prize

By Ed Godfrey Published: February 18, 2008
If Clayton Williams ever leaves Texas, the bull rider is moving to Oklahoma City.

"If they ever kick me out of Carthage, you look out because I am on my way,” said Williams, who did the improbable Sunday and repeated as champion of the PBR's Copenhagen Challenger Tour Championship at the Ford Center.

He won $225,000 in Oklahoma City and Guthrie last year, and this time he is leaving the state with $525,000.

"My grandpa always told me I could retire when I got $3 million in the bank,” Williams said. "Just because of Oklahoma City last year and this year, I'm a third of the way there.”

What makes Williams' victory even more impressive is that he probably shouldn't have been riding at the Ford Center.

He needs "Tommy John” surgery to repair elbow ligaments but postponed the operation for the chance to win the $500,000 top prize in Oklahoma City.

"I really don't think anyone expected to me win, not that they doubted my riding ability, but my elbow being messed up, I obviously had a strike against me,” Williams said.

Williams hadn't ridden a bull for more than a month since getting hurt in Pueblo, Colo., at a Challenger event.

"It's bothered me ever since, and it really hasn't gotten a whole lot better,” said the 22-year-old bull rider. "But it's just something that I had to put in back of my mind and go ahead and ride.”

Williams was the only competitor to ride all three bulls in the Challenger Tour Championship.

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Clayton Williams rides Cheap Trick during the PBR's Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour Championship Sunday. BY SARAH PHIPPS, THE OKLAHOMAN

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