OLDS, Alta. — Amber Holland and her Saskatoon squad scored their first win in the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup during Draw 4 action Wednesday morning.
Holland improved to a 1-1 record in pool play with a narrow 8-7 victory over Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg crew at the Olds Sportsplex.
It was a rematch of the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts final, where Holland topped Jones for the Canadian women’s curling championship.
Jones started with the hammer and converted for a deuce, however, Holland scored a huge four-ender in the second to jump ahead. The wild start continued as Jones put three on the board in the third to leapfrog into the lead up 5-4.
After singles back and forth in the fourth and fifth ends, Holland took control with a deuce in the sixth and stole a point in the seventh to cushion a two-point lead coming home.
Jones (0-2) was only able to add one point in the final frame.
The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season finale is the last event for several clubs, including Team Jones as they retool their rosters for the next Olympic cycle. Jones is joining forces with Mackenzie Zacharias’ squad while Kaitlyn Lawes and Jocelyn Peterman are sticking together and linking up with Selena Njegovan and Kristin MacCuish from Tracy Fleury’s club to form the new Team Lawes. Lead Dawn McEwen is retiring from the sport and alternate Lisa Weagle is focusing on mixed doubles.
Meanwhile, Team Eun-Jung Kim of South Korea also climbed to a 1-1 record with an 11-6 victory over Team Cory Christensen (0-2) from the United States.
Team Soo-Hyuk Kim of South Korea climbed to a 2-0 record, scoring two in the eighth end to win 6-5 over Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher (1-1) and Team Brad Jacobs (2-0) of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., scored five in the first during a 7-4 win over Edmonton’s Team Ryan Jacques (0-2) in men’s action.
The KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup continues with Draw 5 starting at 12 p.m. local time.
Both divisions are split into two groups of six for pool play. The best six teams overall qualify for the playoffs with the top two receiving byes to the semifinals.
Pool play runs through to Friday with the quarterfinals and semifinals scheduled for Saturday and both finals set for Sunday.
The KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup is the fourth and final Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event of the 2021-22 season featuring 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams who have won top tour titles in order to qualify. … A combined $210,000 prize purse is up for grabs with the winning teams earning $25,000 plus berths to next year’s KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup.