Anna Hasselborg shoots a stone during the Princess Auto Elite 10 women's final Sunday in Chatham-Kent, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

Hasselborg secures Humpty’s Champions Cup spot

October 4, 2018, 11:51 AM

Anna Hasselborg was ecstatic about locking up a place in the Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Considering her Swedish squad didn’t get into the season-ending Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event last year until capturing gold at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, winning the inaugural Princess Auto Elite 10 women’s title to kick off the 2018-19 campaign helped put her mind at ease.

“It’s a really nice feeling,” Hasselborg said. “We didn’t get it secured last season until we won the Olympics. It really feels great to have that huge checkmark early in the season.”

The Humpty’s Champions Cup is a one-of-a-kind event where World Curling Tour Order of Merit points aren’t enough to earn an invitation: you have to win to get in. Teams must claim a high-profile tournament title over the course of the season to receive a berth.

The Princess Auto Elite 10 was the first opportunity for teams to guarantee a spot for the Humpty’s Champions Cup running April 23-28, 2019, at Saskatoon’s Merlis Belsher Arena.

Team Hasselborg booked their ticket with authority running the table at the Princess Auto Elite 10 posting a perfect 6-0 record. Hasselborg took the title with a commanding 4-and-2 match-play victory (a 4-0 shutout in six ends) over Switzerland’s Team Tirinzoni during Sunday’s final in Chatham-Kent, Ont.

“That feels so good, of course,” Team Hasselborg third Sara McManus said on earning a Humpty’s Champions Cup spot. “That’s what you want to play.”

If you think it’s too early in the season to have the end of the year on your mind, think again. Teams know they have to win something during the season, thus getting in sooner rather than later is preferred, and it’s not just at Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events either.

A select few spots are reserved for winners elsewhere on the World Curling Tour although that number can increase should multiple Grand Slam winners occur. Such is the case on the men’s side as Team Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., — who were already guaranteed a Humpty’s Champions Cup spot as the defending champs — won the Princess Auto Elite 10 men’s title, thus denying another team a straight spot in.

This could work in the favour of Toronto’s Team Epping, winners of last month’s Shorty Jenkins Classic on tour, who missed out on the Humpty’s Champions Cup last season.

“It’s huge,” skip John Epping said following his team’s win in Cornwall, Ont. “It takes a little bit of pressure off and it feels really good.”

Ottawa’s Team Homan is the reigning Humpty’s Champions Cup women’s champ and will also return to defend the title.

The next Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event is the Canadian Beef Masters running Oct. 23-28 at Rath Eastlink Community Centre in Truro, N.S.

2019 Humpty’s Champions Cup field

Men’s Division Women’s Division
2018 Players’
Championship

Team Koe
2018 Players’
Championship

Team Sinclair
2018 Humpty’s
Champions Cup

Team Gushue
2018 Humpty’s
Champions Cup

Team Homan
Princess Auto
Elite 10

Team Gushue*
Princess Auto
Elite 10

Team Hasselborg
Canadian Beef
Masters

Oct. 23-28, 2018
Canadian Beef
Masters

Oct. 23-28, 2018
Tour Challenge
(Tier 1)

Nov. 6-11, 2018
Tour Challenge
(Tier 1)

Nov. 6-11, 2018
Boost
National

Dec. 11-16, 2018
Boost
National

Dec. 11-16, 2018
Meridian
Canadian Open

Jan. 8-13, 2019
Meridian
Canadian Open

Jan. 8-13, 2019
Pacific-Asia
Championships

Team Matsumura
Pacific-Asia
Championships

Team Kim
European
Championships

Nov. 16-24, 2018
European
Championships

Nov. 16-24, 2018
U.S. National
Championships

Feb. 9-16, 2019
U.S. National
Championships

Feb. 9-16, 2019
World Junior
Championships

Feb. 16-23, 2019
World Junior
Championships

Feb. 16-23, 2019
Tim Hortons
Brier

March 2-10, 2019
Scotties
Tournament of Hearts

Feb. 16-24, 2019
World
Championship

March 30 – April 7, 2019
World
Championship

March 16-24, 2019
World Curling Tour event
(TBD: Based on strength of field)
World Curling Tour event
(TBD: Based on strength of field)
World Curling Tour event
(TBD: Based on strength of field)
World Curling Tour event
(TBD: Based on strength of field)

* – In the event a team wins more than one of the events listed, the winner of the next-ranked WCT event (based on strength of field) will be invited.

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