Brad Jacobs headlines field for hometown GSOC National

Brad Jacobs is all set to defend the Boost National title in his own backyard.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling announced Tuesday the field for the Boost National — running Nov. 14-19 at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. — with the reigning champion Jacobs leading the pack for his hometown event.

Fifteen of the top men’s teams and 15 of the top women’s teams from around the globe will compete in the third event and second major of the 2017-18 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season.

The winning teams earn $30,000 each from the $250,000 total purse plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup (April 24-29, 2018, in Calgary). Points are also up for grabs for the Bonus Cup, awarded to the overall season champions following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship (April 10-15, 2018, in Toronto).

Teams were invited based on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit system as of Oct. 9. In the event a team declined, the next-ranked team based on the OOM was invited.

Below are the pools for the Boost National with skips listed:

MEN’S DIVISION

Pool A Pool B Pool C
Brad Gushue Brad Jacobs Reid Carruthers
Mike McEwen Kevin Koe John Epping
John Morris Jason Gunnlaugson Pat Simmons
Greg Balsdon William Lyburn Rui Liu
Bruce Mouat Greg Drummond Chang-Min Kim

WOMEN’S DIVISION

Pool A Pool B Pool C
Rachel Homan Jennifer Jones Val Sweeting
Michelle Englot Alina Paetz Allison Flaxey
Jacqueline Harrison Casey Scheidegger Bingyu Wang
Kerri Einarson Kelsey Rocque Chelsea Carey
Tracy Fleury Julie Tippin Binia Feltscher

Teams will play four round-robin games within their pool with the top eight overall qualifying for the playoffs.

The Boost National is one of the original four events of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling dating back to the inaugural 2001-02 season and returns to Sault Ste. Marie for the third time in four years.

Jacobs defeated Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers in last season’s men’s final while Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson claimed her first major championship beating Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland on the women’s side.

Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., will look to make it three in a row to start the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season after winning the Tour Challenge Tier 1 and Masters men’s titles. Edmonton’s Val Sweeting (Tour Challenge Tier 1) and Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones (Masters) also enter with elite-level women’s championship wins on the year.

Television coverage begins Nov. 16 on Sportsnet and online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and gsoc.yaretv.com (international).