Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney and Lisa Weagle with the Canadian Open trophy. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Homan edges Jones to win Canadian Open title

December 13, 2015, 4:33 PM

YORKTON, Sask. — Rachel Homan’s incredible year continues as she captured an unprecedented third consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling championship of the season.

Following back-to-back title wins at the Masters and National, Homan took the Meridian Canadian Open title by scoring two in the final end to lift her Ottawa-based team to an 8-7 win over Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones in the women’s final Sunday.

“We’re pretty excited,” Homan said. “It hasn’t been done before so I’m excited to keep rolling. Excited for our Christmas break.”

It’s also Homan’s fifth Pinty’s GSOC title overall, tying Jones for the most among women’s skips, and she climbed to a stunning 26-5 overall record in the series this season.

The team of Homan, third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, and lead Lisa Weagle top the Rogers Grand Slam Cup overall standings with 45 points, up by 23 over Tracy Fleury, of Sudbury, Ont., and Edmonton’s Val Sweeting.

Jones opened with the hammer and made a tap to score two in the first. Her team struggled through the second and Homan capitalized making a nose hit for three to take a 3-2 lead.

Team Homan had two stones parked together in the house, one of which sat for shot, during the third end and Jones bumped them both out to match with a three-count of her own to retake the two-point advantage.

Homan said that it’s all part of having the five-rock rule in effect. Teams cannot eliminate rocks sitting in the free-guard zone above the house until five stones have been played, giving the team with hammer a chance to bounce back big.

“Yeah it’s huge and it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s a lot of rocks in play. It makes the game more interesting for the fans and you can’t ever let up when you’re playing as well so we love it.”

Homan held shot rock in four and attempted a runback for three but missed and just got the single, however, back-to-back steals in five and six put her up 6-5.

Jones faced three counters in the fifth and opted for a light tap to only give up one. The reigning Olympic and Scotties champion sat one on the edge of the button in six and Homan froze her final shot on top for what appeared to be shot rock. Jones’s last rock clipped a guard and a close measurement gave Homan the point another single steal for the lead.

Jones, a five-time Players’ Championship winner, had a rock frozen on top of Homan’s shot rock in seven and used her last to bump it out to take two and a 7-6 lead.

Down by a point coming home with the hammer, Homan sat first and second shot after throwing her first skip stone and Jones wrecked on a guard with her last to bring out handshakes.

“Jones played really well,” Homan said. “They came out firing and we had a couple misses here and there and they had some really well-deserved twos and threes and we had to battle back really hard in that game.”

Team Homan have won seven titles on tour this year. They were also finalists at the season-opening Pinty’s GSOC event, the Tour Challenge, in September.

“I think that’s win No. 53 for us of the season, which is amazing, and we just have to keep going,” Homan said. “We’re resting right now though.”

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season resumes with the Elite 10 men’s invitational, running March 17-20, 2016, in Victoria, B.C. Both men’s and women’s fields return to Toronto for the Players’ Championship, April 12-17, 2016.