Battle of the Brads
Jacobs and Gushue in literal deadlock after Grand Slam of Curling final
Over the past decade or so curling fans have become quite familiar with the two Brads: Gushue and Jacobs.
Both battled their way out of geographically isolated cities (St. John’s, N.L., and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. respectively), paid their dues on tour and eventually went on to the highest levels of competitive curling. Both have won Olympic gold medals, both have been ranked number one on the World Curling Tour, both have won the Tim Hortons Brier, and both have won multiple Grand Slam of Curling titles.
Since 2008, their teams have played each other 48 times at national men’s championships, Slams, World Curling Tour events, etc.
Who would you guess has the head-to-head edge?
When Brad Jacobs, Marc Kennedy, E.J. Harnden, and Ryan Harnden beat Team Gushue by score of 6-4 in the final of this weekend’s Tour Challenge, it marked the 24th time they’d beaten the Newfoundland foursome. Gushue, meanwhile, has also won 24 times.
This weekend though, Jacobs earned $30,000 for the top prize and 81.085 points on the WCT Order of Merit and the Canadian Team Ranking System. Gushue earned $18,000 and 59.462 points.
Jacobs beat Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher in the semifinal, while Gushue beat Calgary’s Kevin Koe to reach the final. Bottcher and Koe took home $12,000.
The win puts Jacobs right in the mix for WCT No. 1 and only three points back from Toronto’s John Epping. Koe, however, is only four points behind Jacobs – making the battle for the top spot very tight.
In the women’s event at the Tour Challenge, Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg took down Kerri Einarson (Gimli, Man.) by a score of 8-5 in the final.
While Einarson was already holding the WCT No. 1 spot, Hasselborg cut into her lead and moved into second place by earning 81.956 points (along with a $30,000 payday). Einarson’s 60.101 points kept her in the top position, while her runner-up prize was $18,000.
Semifinalists Nina Roth (USA) and Satsuki Fujisawa (Japan) cashed in for $12,000 and 46.442 points each.
In the Tier 2 events, USA’s Korey Dropkin took down Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach, Man.) in the men’s final, while South Korea’s Min Ji Kim beat Jestyn Murphy (Mississauga, Ont.) in the women’s final. Each winner took home a cheque for $10,000.
Coming up for the men this weekend, the third Stu Sells event of the year is taking place at the Halifax Curling Club while the Red Deer Curling Classic gets underway in Alberta. Both bonspiels have a purse of $35,000. The Red Deer Classic also features a 28-team women’s event, also with a $35,000 purse.
Meanwhile, many of the top mixed doubles teams will be playing in Portage la Prairie, Man., at the Canad Inn Mixed Doubles Championship.
For all scores and results, please visit curlingzone.com.