Bottcher, McEwen to battle in opening draw of GSOC Masters

Brendan Bottcher in action at the 2019 Humpty's Champions Cup in Saskatoon. (Anil Mungal)

Brendan Bottcher begins his chase for a fourth consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling men’s event title playing Mike McEwen in the opening draw of the Masters in North Bay, Ont.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling announced Tuesday the match schedule for its first event of the 2019-20 season running Oct. 22-27 at North Bay Memorial Gardens.

Bottcher and his Edmonton-based club will look to pick up where they left off from last season after winning their first three event titles in the series at the Meridian Canadian Open, Players’ Championship and Humpty’s Champions Cup.

“It would be pretty exciting if we could keep the streak rolling,” Bottcher said earlier this month during the Shorty Jenkins Classic tour event. “We’ll certainly give it a good try and I’m excited to get back out there.”

Also in action on opening night: reigning Pinty’s Cup women’s champions Team Rachel Homan of Ottawa face Japan’s Team Sayaka Yoshimura; Team Jennifer Jones take on Team Theresa Cannon in an all-Winnipeg battle; Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., goes up against Regina’s Team Matt Dunstone; and world women’s champions Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland meet Edmonton’s Team Kelsey Rocque.

The first major of the 2019-20 season includes 15 of the top men’s teams and 15 of the top women’s teams from around the globe based on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit rankings. Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden and Toronto’s Team John Epping, both ranked No. 2 in the world, are the reigning Masters champions and return for an opportunity to defend their titles.

Both divisions are split into three pools of five teams based on the WCT rankings for round-robin play (four games each). The top eight overall advance to the playoffs.

Teams will compete for a $300,000 combined purse plus points for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the season champions in the series following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship. Masters title winners also earn berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup, April 29 – May 3, 2020, in Olds, Alta.

Broadcast coverage begins Oct. 24 at Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW.

2019 Masters draw schedule

Time (ET) Draw A B C D E
Tuesday, Oct. 22
7 p.m. 1 Jones vs. Cannon Homan vs. Yoshimura Bottcher vs. McEwen Gushue vs. Dunstone Tirinzoni vs. Rocque
Wednesday, Oct. 23
8 a.m. 2 Fleury vs. Stern Mouat vs. Schwaller Hasselborg vs. Fujisawa   De Cruz vs. McDonald
Noon 3 Edin vs. McEwen Epping vs. Paterson Einarson vs. Rocque Scheidegger vs. Silvernagle Koe vs. Howard
4 p.m. 4 Carey vs. Yoshimura Jacobs vs. McDonald Jones vs. Muirhead Mouat vs. Shuster Homan vs. Stern
8 p.m. 5 Einarson vs. Silvernagle Edin vs. Gushue Tirinzoni vs. Scheidegger Fujisawa vs. Cannon Dunstone vs. Bottcher
Thursday, Oct. 24
8 a.m. 6 Jacobs vs. Howard Carey vs. Stern Paterson vs. Schwaller Koe vs. De Cruz  
Noon 7 Scheidegger vs. Rocque Hasselborg vs. Cannon Epping vs. Shuster Edin vs. Bottcher Gushue vs. McEwen
4 p.m. 8 Mouat vs. Paterson Tirinzoni vs. Silvernagle Homan vs. Carey Howard vs. McDonald Fleury vs. Yoshimura
8 p.m. 9 Dunstone vs. McEwen Einarson vs. Scheidegger Koe vs. Jacobs Hasselborg vs. Muirhead Jones vs. Fujisawa
Friday, Oct. 25
8 a.m. 10 Epping vs. Schwaller De Cruz vs. Howard Silvernagle vs. Rocque Paterson vs. Shuster  
Noon 11 Edin vs. Dunstone Carey vs. Fleury Einarson vs. Tirinzoni Yoshimura vs. Stern Muirhead vs. Cannon
4 p.m. 12 Koe vs. McDonald Epping vs. Mouat Bottcher vs. Gushue Jacobs vs. De Cruz Shuster vs. Schwaller
7:30 p.m. 13 Fujisawa vs. Muirhead Tiebreaker (if nec.) Hasselborg vs. Jones Homan vs. Fleury Tiebreaker (if nec.)
Saturday, Oct. 26
8 a.m. 14 Tiebreakers (if necessary)
Noon 15 Men’s Quartefinals
4 p.m. 16 Women’s Quarterfinals
8 p.m. 17 Men’s & Women’s Semifinals
Sunday, Oct. 27
Noon 18   Women’s Final    
4:30 p.m. 19   Men’s Final  

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