If any ranking system were perfect, a tournament would always see the two highest ranked teams meet in the final. Of course, that rarely happens, especially when you have 13 of the top 15 teams in the world beating up on each other, as was the case at Cornwall, Ont.’s AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic.
And yet, when the dust settled on Sunday afternoon, World Curling Tour No. 1 Team Brad Gushue (St. John’s) was set to face No. 2 Kevin Koe (Calgary) for the championship.
This time, however, the ranking wasn’t the deciding factor, as Koe took home the title, pulling way ahead with a steal of three in the fourth end, and sealing it with another score of three in the sixth.
Team Gushue was Gushue-less for the second time in two weeks, as their skip recovers from a nagging hip injury. Third Mark Nichols stepped up to skip and Ontario super-spare Adam Spencer stepped in to vice.
Koe and team took home $15,000 and 77.547 points, their first in this year’s Canadian Team Ranking System season. Nichols and Team Gushue took home $10,000 and 60.930 points, which keeps them just eight points ahead of Koe for the world No. 1 spot.
On the ladies side, Ottawa’s Rachel Homan picked up right where she left off last season. Just a week after getting married, Homan ran the table in Cornwall, taking down Ali Flaxey (Caledon, Ont.) in the final.
Team Homan took home $10,000 and 45.410 points on the CTRS and World Order of Merit, which extends the gap between them and second place Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg).
Team Jones was also in action this weekend at the Colonial Square Ladies Classic in Saskatoon, Sask. Like team Gushue, however, they were without their usual skip, as Jones stayed home with her new baby girl, Skyla, born just a month ago.
In her place, they called on Alberta’s Cheryl Bernard, a fellow Olympic medallist, to fill in.
In a very strong women’s field, five of the eight playoff teams were international, including the winner Bingyu Wang (China) and runner-up Eve Muirhead (Scotland). Jones was the best Canadian entry, reaching the semifinal before losing to Muirhead.
The other Canadian playoff teams were Regina’s Chantelle Eberle, and Prince Albert, Sask.’s Stefanie Lawton. They both lost in the quarter-finals.
Wang took home $11,000 and 60.920 points on the world ranking. Bernard helped the Jones rink take home $4,500 and 36.987 points.