PARADISE, N.L. — The finals are set for the Tour Challenge — the first Grand Slam of Curling event of the season.
On the women’s side it will be Ottawa’s Rachel Homan against Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni while in men’s play it will be Calgary’s Kevin Koe against Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L.
Homan, who is the only undefeated skip at the tournament after going 4-0 in round robin, doubled up South Korea’s Eun Jun Kim 6-3 in semifinal action to earn her spot in the championship match. Tirinzoni staved off a late push from Tracy Fleury, holding on to defeat the Sudbury, Ont. native 9-7 in the other semi.
Koe scored four in the sixth end to blow past American John Shuster 9-2 in the semis while Gushue downed Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen 5-3 after scoring a duece in the seventh.
The winners of the event will receive invitations to the second of two new events in the Grand Slam series — the Champions Cup — which is the final event of the season and showcases all of the winners from major events in curling.
Both the men’s and women’s finals go Sunday afternoon at the Paradise Double Ice Complex.
Earlier in the day in the quarter-finals, Shuster beat Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers 6-4, Koe edged Edmonton’s Brendan Botcher 7-6, Gushue doubled up Glen Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., 4-2 and McEwen disposed of Brad Jacobs, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 6-1.
In the women’s quarters, Homan beat Scotland’s Eve Muirhead 7-3, Kim toppled Winnipeg’s Kristy McDonald 7-2, Fleury eliminated Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., with a 6-2 decision and Tirinzoni downed Edmonton’s Kelsey Roque 6-1.
The Canadian Press