World junior champ Tardi upsets Persinger at GSOC Champions Cup

Tyler Tardi in action at the 2018 Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary. (Anil Mungal)

CALGARY — World junior gold medallist Tyler Tardi scored his first top-tier Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling victory Thursday morning at the Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Team Tardi, from Langley, B.C., upset reigning American champs Team Greg Persinger, skipped by third Rich Ruohonen, 5-4 in an extra end during Draw 6 action at WinSport Arena.

The back-and-forth battle started with Persinger in charge scoring a single in the second followed by a steal of one in the third. Tardi got on track tying it up with a deuce in the fourth.

Persinger pulled back ahead with another point in five and Tardi took over knotting it again in the sixth and stealing in seven to go up 4-3. An extra end was required with Persinger getting the equalizer back in eight and Tardi prevailed in overtime.

Both teams now hold matching 1-1 records in the season finale Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournament.

The Humpty’s Champions Cup features 15 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams that won events over the course of the season in order to qualify for entry. Teams play four round-robin games during the week with the top eight overall advancing to the weekend playoffs.

Elsewhere, Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher, with Mick Lizmore subbing at skip, improved to a 1-1 record blitzing Switzerland’s Marc Pfister 8-2.

Trailing 2-1 after three, it was all Team Bottcher from there with a deuce in four to pull ahead followed by steals of two in five and three in six. Pfister fell to a 0-3 record.

In women’s play, American Jamie Sinclair continued her strong play to climb to the top of the leaderboard. Sinclair moved up to a 3-0 record with a 3-1 victory over Halifax’s Kristen MacDiarmid (0-2).

MacDiarmid opened with the hammer and blanked the first four ends before settling for a single in the fifth. That was all the offence she’d get as Sinclair tied it in the sixth and stole back-to-back points in seven and eight.

Team Sinclair became the first U.S. squad to capture a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title at the Players’ Championship earlier this month in Toronto.

Round-robin action continues at WinSport Arena at Noon MT with television coverage on Sportsnet and online streaming available at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare TV (international).

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