TORONTO — Brad Gushue was a big winner Saturday despite his Players’ Championship semifinal loss to Niklas Edin.
Gushue, who has won two Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles this season, finished with enough points to collect the $75,000 Bonus Cup as the 2017-18 champion in the series.
The St. John’s, N.L., skip clinched the prize when Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen, who was the only other one still in the running, fell in the other semifinal to Calgary’s Kevin Koe. McEwen would have had to defeat Koe and then Edin in the final in order to pass Gushue in points.
“The first job we had here this week was to win the [Bonus] Cup, that was the most important thing,” Gushue said. “It’s about season-long success and being the best at the Slams all year, which is the best-on-best. We’re pretty proud of it.”
The nine-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner Gushue now turns his attention to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup, the only one he hasn’t won as he aims to become the first skip to check them all off of the list.
“Certainly after the last week and this week it’s been some pretty disappointing finishes for us,” said Gushue, who also lost to Edin in the world championship final a week ago. “If we can muster up enough energy, we’re not going to get much practice in between now and the Champions Cup, but certainly I’d like to win and finish off all seven of them.”
Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones cruised to the Bonus Cup women’s title. Jones, who also has a pair of Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles on the year, just needed to qualify for the playoffs in order to cement her spot on the trophy and breezed through round-robin play undefeated at 5-0.
“We had a great Grand Slam season this year so we knew coming into this we had to qualify to win that,” Team Jones lead Dawn McEwen said. “Mission accomplished and we’re really excited about that.”
Jones, who is the defending Players’ champion, looks to add another to her haul and faces American Jamie Sinclair for the women’s title.
Watch the men’s final Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBC or Sportsnet followed by the women’s final at 5 p.m. ET on Sportsnet One. Stream both finals online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare TV (international).