Horgan, Walker claim championships in Morris, Man.
Booking travel is often a major complication for competitive curling teams. In massive bonspiels where the round robin or qualification rounds can take days, knowing when to book a flight home – or to your next bonspiel – can be a hassle. If you lose out early, is it worth changing your flights? If the playoffs are on Monday, is it better to book the flight for Monday night, or Sunday – and change it if necessary?
On the same day that some teams were travelling to Nova Scotia for the next Grand Slam of Curling event, several teams were still battling in the playoffs of the DEKALB Superspiel in Morris, Man. If they weren’t playing, at least a few of them would have been travelling east for the two-tiered Tour Challenge.
As it stood though, there was still a bonspiel championship up for grabs. On the men’s side Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen qualified through the A-side, only to lose the final Tanner Horgan in an extra end.
Horgan, now playing with a Winnipeg Beach-based team of Colton Lott, Kyle Doering, and Tanner Lott, lost to McEwen in the A-draw, then ran the table for the rest of the weekend, working his way towards a championship and $9,500 cheque along with 39.395 points.
The runner-up finish earned McEwen 28.889 points, a valuable boost to his World Curling Tour (WCT) rankings. Team McEwen moved up two spots on the Order of Merit to No. 12, and put a little breathing room between itself and the pack, who are all hovering on the bubble for future Grand Slam invitations. Currently, spots 14 to 17 are separated by just 12 points.
On the women’s side, Edmonton’s Laura Walker won her second event of the year, going through the Morris event without a loss. The win earned her (along with Kate Cameron, Taylor McDonald, and Nadine Scotland) $8,000 and 34.196 points, moving her up eight spots on the WCT list to No. 23.
Walker defeated Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona, Man.) in the final.
Both winners from Morris are off to Pictou, N.S., to play in the Tier 2 event at the Tour Challenge, while McEwen will play in the Tier 1.
Elsewhere, Sweden’s Isabella Wranaa earned $6,000 for her win over Thunder Bay, Ont.’s Krista McCarville at the Royal LePage Women’s Fall Classic in Kemptville, Ont. Wranaa also earned 34.805 points, which moves her up four spots to No. 13 on the WCT list.
As of Tuesday night, 60-teams are taking part in the second Grand Slam of the year, the Tour Challenge. Two tiers of 15 teams will compete in each gender. Tier 2 winners will earn invitations to future Grand Slam events.
For schedules, scores, and results, please check curlingzone.com and watch the games on Sportsnet channels starting on Thursday morning.