News Masters

Epping edges De Cruz in Masters tiebreakers to qualify

NORTH BAY, Ont. — John Epping will continue his quest to defend the Masters men’s title.

Epping and his Toronto-based team scored two points in the eighth end to top Switzerland’s Team Peter de Cruz 5-3 in Saturday’s tiebreaker draw to advance to the playoffs at Memorial Gardens.

Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson also qualified by ousting Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe 7-6 in an extra end.

Epping takes on Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., in the men’s quarterfinals while Paterson plays compatriot Team Bruce Mouat at Noon ET. Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher meets Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., with Regina’s Team Matt Dunstone going up against Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in the featured game.

Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa defeated Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 7-3 in the lone women’s tiebreaker game.

Fujisawa will play No. 1 seed Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland in the women’s quarterfinals at 4 p.m. ET. The other matches see Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones vs. Team Sayaka Yoshimura of Japan, Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., vs. Switzerland’s Team Elena Stern and the featured game of Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg vs. Team Kerri Einarson of East St. Paul, Man.

Watch both quarterfinals on Sportsnet or stream online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

The semifinals are set for Saturday evening with the finals scheduled for Sunday.

NOTES: The Masters is the first of six Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events on the season and one of four majors in the series. … The total prize purse is $300,000 and is split evenly between the men’s and women’s divisions. Winners receive $35,000 plus berths towards the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup taking place April 29 to May 3, 2020, in Olds, Alta. … Also up for grabs at the Masters are Pinty’s Cup bonus points. The leaders following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship in April will capture the Pinty’s Cup with additional prize money awarded.