If individual shotmaking has anything to do with it, Jennifer Jones is more than ready to defend her Scotties Tournament Of Hearts title.
Jones won her first Ford Hot Shots title at the Civic Centre on Saturday, defeating her vice-skip Kaitlyn Lawes in an all-Team Canada final.
“This doesn’t say a whole lot — you kind of make of few good shots in the afternoon,” allowed Jones.
“The competition is completely different, but it’s kind of fun to come out here.”
Jones qualified for the final eight on Friday with 19 of a possible 30 points, then recorded 21 in Saturday’s quarter-final, 23 in the semi-final and out-scored Lawes 15-13 in the final.
The Hot Shots winner is provided with a two-year lease on a $36,000 2011 Ford Edge SEL FWD. Lawes collected $2,000 for finishing second.
“I can’t actually remember what we agreed to,” said Jones. “But the money will be divided and we’ll do something for the car.
“We always have some kind of arrangement. It’s a team effort out there. And to have both of us in the final was super-fun. I was super happy for Kaitlyn.”
The shotmaking competition requires the participating Scotties curlers to execute six shots: Hit-and-stay, draw-the-button, draw-the-port, raise, hit-and-roll and double-takeout. Each shot is awarded points on a scale from 0-to-5, rating the success of each.
Defending Hot Shots champion Amber Holland, Saskatchewan’s skip from Kronau, won $1,000 for finishing third.
Holland topped the field during Friday’s qualifying, scored a blazing 27/30 in the quarter-final but faded to 16 in the semis and missed the final.
“The Hot Shots is the Hot Shots,” said Jones. “It’s completely different than a curling game so you never look too hard at it going into the week. But it’s a fun way for us to start. And like I said, I wanted to make sure Kaitlyn enjoyed herself this week and it’s a pretty nice way for her to start.”
Lawes said she’d hoped it would go down to the last rock and “whoever was throwing . . . had to make it to win”.
But Jones had the decision wrapped up prior to her last shot, the double.
“It was really fun; I’ve never actually participated in the Hot Shots,” said Lawes. “I went into it with an open mind; I didn’t really want to put any pressure on myself.
“The first round (Friday), I just wanted to get something out of every shot, get a couple points here and there and move on. That worked out, and I had the same mentality today.
“I didn’t feel any nerves until the final four. Then I was . . . ‘Oh, I can actually maybe get something here.’
Charlottetown’s Robyn MacPhee also was eliminated in the semi-finals with a score of 7. In the quarters, behind Holland and Jones, MacPhee scored 19 points, Lawes logged 18, Alberta’s Bronwen Webster checked in with 17, Cathy Overton-Clapham of Manitoba and Alison Krevaziuk of Ontario each scored 16 and Quebec’s Marie-France Larouche managed 10.
Among other previous winners, New Westminster’s Kelley Law is the only two-time champ (2000, 2001). Other single winners: Kelli Turpin, then of Yellowknife; Kristy Lewis and Sherry Fraser of Richmond, B.C.; Cheryl Bernard of Calgary, Marcy Balderston of Grande Prairie; Saskatchewan’s Kay Montgomery of Prince Albert; Manitoba’s Gerri Cooke of Brandon and Jill Officer of Winnipeg; Ontario’s Andrea Lawes of Toronto and Jenn Hanna of Ottawa; New Brunswick’s Allison Farrell (Franey) of Saint John, Nova Scotia’s Colleen Jones of Halifax and Prince Edward Island’s Birt.
In collaboration with the Canadian Curling Association, Ford has launched an interactive on-line version of the Hot Shots competition where fans will have a chance to win a two-year lease on a new 2011 Ford Edge SEL plus an Apple iPod Touch.
The runner-up will receive one 11-inch Apple MacBook Air. In addition, the top three finishers will each receive an Xbox 360 Kinetic Package while six secondary prizes will also be awarded, each consisting of one Apple iPod Nano each.
The on-line game, unveiled in 2009, culminated with a one-game playoff at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Moncton.
Dan Sherrard of Edmonton was the inaugural winner and also won last year in a one-game playoff held at the Ford World Women’s in Swift Current, Sask.
Similarly, once the current contest closes on March 17, two finalists will be flown to Regina, site of the 2011 Ford World Men’s (April 2-10), for a one-game playoff on April 8.
All information, including rules, regulations, eligibility, player registration and game instructions are available at FordHotShots.curling.ca.