Winnipeg’s Jason Gunnlaugson entered the weekend in first place on this season’s Canadian Team Ranking System leaderboard. When all the bonspiels across the country finally wrapped up on Monday night, he was still leading… but just barely.
Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) was the real winner on the weekend, taking home the top prize at the College Clean Restoration Curling Classic in Saskatoon. The victory earned him $12,000 and 65.692 CTRS (and World Curling Tour Order of Merit) points, which now puts him only a few back from Gunnlaugson on this season’s, year-to-date tally.
Gunnlaugson, on the other hand, bowed out in the quarter-finals of Winnipeg’s Mother Club Fall Curling Classic, and only earned 10.6875 points.
Because of the strength of the field, the Saskatoon event was worth far more points, and teams like Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher and Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock (both semi-finalists, worth 39.8841 points), and Toronto’s John Epping and Edmonton’s Charley Thomas (quarter-finalists, 28.154 points) made up substantial ground on the rankings, all trying to reel in Gunnlaugson after his hot start.
For Jacobs, it was the first big win of the year, in only their second event. They won eight of their nine games, beating Epping, Laycock, and Sweden’s Niklas Edin (twice), before taking down Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud in the final. Bottcher handed them their only loss, in the A qualifier.
As for the Winnipeg event, a hometown squad skipped by David Bohn won for the second year in a row. He took down Korea’s Chang-Min Kim in an extra-end final that earned his team 24.9375 points.
On the women’s side, Coldwater, Ont.’s Sherry Middaugh made her first big splash of the season winning the KW Fall Classic in Waterloo, Ont. With a win over Woodstock, Ont.’s Julie Tippin, Middaugh earned 33.457 points, which (along with her quarter-final finish at the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic) moves her into second on the CTRS.
Another notable story out of Waterloo is that Alison Flaxey and her team from Caledon, Ont., extended their lead on the CTRS race with another event qualification. Although, they earned only 14.3385 points for their quarter-final loss, the results padded their first-place ranking, where they now sit nearly 50 points ahead of Middaugh.
- In the women’s event at Winnipeg’s Mother Club Fall Curling Classic, two hometown teams squared off as Michelle Englot defeated Joelle Brown in the final.
- The men’s event in Waterloo saw London’s Richard Krell take down Sarnia, Ont.’s Ryan Ledrew in the main final.
- In Sackville, Nova Scotia, Nancy McConnery (Dartmouth, N.S.) defeated Jill Brothers (Halifax) in the final of the Lakeshore Curling Club Cashspiel. On the men’s side, Stuart Thompson took down Chad Stevens in an all-Halifax final.