OAKVILLE, Ont. — Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat picked up where they left off last season in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling.
After a double in the Calgary bubble capturing the Champions Cup and Players’ Championship, Team Mouat kicked off the 2021-22 campaign by capturing the Masters men’s title at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
Mouat had to beat the last club that claimed three in a row to complete his trifecta and scored three points in the eighth end to defeat Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 7-5 during Sunday’s final.
“It’s very exciting,” Mouat said. “We’re so glad to be back at the Slams and playing good curling. To be able to win a competition like this, it feels like we’re doing something right back home when we’re training. Playing in front of Canadian crowds is always a lot of fun.”
The team of skip Bruce Mouat, third Grant Hardie, second Bobby Lammie and lead Hammy McMillan Jr., banked $33,000 from the $300,000 combined prize purse, 12 Pinty’s Cup points. Mouat already has his spot secured in the season-ending KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup as the reigning champion.
Mouat joins a short list of skips who have won three consecutive GSOC titles: Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard, Brendan Bottcher and Jacobs in the men’s division with Rachel Homan and Anna Hasselborg completing the feat on the women’s side.
“As I said when we won the Players’, being part of that group of players and being able to win something like that is really special but to now be on an even shorter list of people, being the only Scottish men’s team to do it and other historical things that are coming with it is meaning a lot to us,” Mouat said. “Obviously, going to keep on trying to improve and win more.”
Mouat was also excited about being able to carry the momentum from his team’s amazing bubble run into a new season.
“It means that it wasn’t a fluke,” Mouat said. “Some people maybe thought that we won two because we were on a hot streak but to win this one cements our spot at the top or in the top five or whatever in the world. We’re really happy to be with that really amazing calibre of curlers.”
There must be something in the water in Sixteen Mile Creek as Team Mouat posted a perfect 6-0 record in the event and are now 30-1 in town since forming in 2017. Mouat defeated Jacobs to win the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard at the Oakville Curling Club last month.
“I don’t know what it is about Oakville but we’re definitely coming back,” Mouat said with a laugh.
The rematch didn’t start out ideally for Mouat, who was threatening to score big with the hammer to start, but Jacobs was able to limit his opponent to hit for just a single.
Jacobs drew right to the button on his first skip stone in the second, but Mouat followed suit with his last. That forced Jacobs into a risky hit off a guard and into the four-foot circle to tap Mouat’s rock and score his rewarding deuce.
Mouat capitalized in the third end with a draw for two after Jacobs’ rock went haywire and ended up joining the guard pile to the side.
Jacobs rebounded in the fifth drawing for another pair of points to leap back ahead 4-3.
The teams alternated singles with Mouat drawing through a port to the button in six and an untimely error for Jacobs looking to hit and stick for a deuce in seven but rolling out of the rings.
Jacobs’ last rock in the eighth end was left exposed and Mouat had no problem eliminating it and tacking three points on the board.
“I think the sixth end was obviously a big shot, the draw to the button, I needed to score there to kind of keep our hands or our fingertips on the trophy maybe,” Mouat said. “We’re pretty fortunate in the seventh with his hit and roll out and the eighth we had a really good setup. We felt really confident that we were getting our two.”
Team Jacobs won three GSOC men’s titles during the 2019-20 season prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jacobs, who collected $20,000 and nine Pinty’s Cup points, has won seven championships in the series and was denied the chance to finish the checklist with only the Masters left to cross off.
Earlier, Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., successfully defended the Masters women’s title with a 9-7 victory in an extra end over Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones.
“We’re really excited,” Fleury said. “That was quite the battle, a really exciting game. We’re very happy.”
Skip Tracy Fleury captured her first GSOC women’s title at the 2019 Masters in North Bay, Ont., with family and friends making the trip from her nearby hometown of Sudbury. The Masters was cancelled last season and this year’s edition was the first GSOC event with fans back in the stands since the start of the pandemic.
The GSOC season continues with the BOOST National, Nov. 2-7, at Chestermere Recreation Centre in Chestermere, Alta. Tickets are available at boost.goigniter.com.