OAKVILLE, Ont. — Kerri Einarson captured her fifth career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title at the WFG Masters.
Einarson and her club from Gimli, Man., needed an extra end but made no mistake on the double takeout to score the winning point and beat Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan 6-5 during Sunday’s final at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
The crew of Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Harris cashed in $35,000 from the $300,000 combined purse plus 12 Pinty’s Cup points to extend their lead in the season standings.
“I knew that spot, I played it even in previous games, so I knew how it would run,” Einarson said. “I felt very comfortable throwing it. I knew if I was close on it then I could get Shannon to go on it if needed and we made it.”
It was the fifth consecutive Grand Slam final and third this season for Team Einarson. The streak started at the Princess Auto Players’ Championship in April where they finished runners-up to Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg and continued with a victory over Team Eun-Ji Gim of South Korea in the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup the following month. Team Einarson picked things up again finishing second to Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni in October’s BOOST National and were runners-up to Homan two weeks later in the HearingLife Tour Challenge.
“It’s pretty special,” Einarson said. “After losing two finals, back to back, it was tough because we didn’t come out as sharp but you definitely learn from those losses. We came out and we played really great today.”
Both Einarson and Homan entered the rematch with unblemished records and had to draw for the hammer. That proved to be key as Einarson won the shootout and converted for a deuce in the opening end. Homan wrecked on one of her own guards with her first skip stone, allowing Einarson to set up and score a deuce capped with a draw to the side of the four-foot circle on her last shot.
Although Homan made a tricky shot through a port in the second, Einarson was able to follow suit and sit two counters that forced the record 12-time Grand Slam women’s champion to draw for the button for just a single.
After Einarson added a single in the fourth, Homan grabbed the lead briefly with a strong fifth end hitting for three points and a 4-3 advantage.
Einarson was able to take two again in the sixth to pull back ahead.
Homan looked to score two for the win in the eighth but didn’t quite get the angles all right as her pinball shot failed to get the second point and it was just an equalizing single to force overtime.
Homan, who throws fourth stones, skip/third Tracy Fleury, second Emma Miskew and lead Sarah Wilkes collected $20,000 and nine Pinty’s Cup points. The team entered the final with a 15-game winning streak on tour.
Meanwhile, Team Joël Retornaz defeated Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland 6-2 in the men’s final to become the first Italian club to capture a Grand Slam title.
The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling returns in the new year with the Co-op Canadian Open, Jan. 10-15, 2023, at Encana Arena in Camrose, Alta.