PICTOU COUNTY, N.S. — Eun-Ji Gim is now a Grand Slam of Curling champion after edging Rachel Homan 7-6 in the KIOTI National women’s final Sunday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
The team of Gim, third Min-Ji Kim, second Su-Ji Kim, lead Ye-Eun Seol and alternate Ye-Ji Seol also became the first South Korean club to capture a major title in the series.
Gim posted a perfect 7-0 record in the tournament to take home $42,000.
“We just had fun this week,” Ye-Eun Seol said. “We’re happy we won.”
The final was the lone loss of the week for the Canadian crew of Homan, third Tracy Fleury, second Emma Miskew and lead Sarah Wilkes. Team Homan collected $34,000 from the prize purse.
Team Gim, who had lost in all six of their previous games against Team Homan, wrapped up a busy early stretch to the season having played eight events since the start of September. That includes the Pan Continental Championships last weekend where they defeated Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa to win the gold medal.
“Our goal was to beat Fujisawa and to beat Homan and finally we beat Homan in the final, so it worked out,” Ye-Eun Seol said. “We’re so happy.”
Gim never trailed in the match and set the tone by winning the draw-to-the-button shootout for the hammer and converting for two points in the opening frame.
Homan, who has won a record 13 Grand Slam women’s titles, drew for just a single in the second but applied the pressure valve high in the third. Gim was forced into a difficult draw to the button while facing four counters and her shooter rolled just a bit heavy to give up a steal of one to tie it.
It was deuces wild over the following four ends as Gim held the hammer coming home tied 6-6.
Gim didn’t need to throw her last, however, as she already sat shot rock on the button and Homan grazed another stone higher up in the house.
Earlier Sunday, Joël Retornaz and his Italian team won their third Grand Slam men’s title, and second in a row, following a 6-5 victory over Niklas Edin’s team from Sweden in the men’s final.
The Grand Slam of Curling season resumes with the WFG Masters, Dec. 12-17, at Saskatoon’s Merlis Belsher Place.