Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney and Lisa Weagle with the Masters trophy in Truro, N.S. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Rachel Homan wins 3rd Masters title in 4 years

November 1, 2015, 8:54 PM

TRURO, N.S. — Rachel Homan and her Ottawa-based team continued their hot streak to start the season by running the table with a perfect 7-0 overall record to score the rink’s third Masters title in four years.

Homan capped the first major of the 2015-16 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with a 6-4 victory over Edmonton’s Val Sweeting in the women’s final Sunday night at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

While it’s Masters title No. 3 for Homan, third Emma Miskew and lead Lisa Weagle, it’s the first for second Joanne Courtney, who joined the squad in 2014 replacing Alison Kreviazuk.

“It feels amazing. I don’t really know what to say right now because I’m really, really excited,” Courtney said. “We had a great week and felt really good out there and I’m proud with how we played in the final.”

“With all of the Slams now you kind of forget which ones are which so it’s great that we get our name back on the trophy here,” Miskew said. “But obviously, one we get to qualify for the Champions Cup now, which we’re really excited about and we just wanted to come out and have a great game. We were in a final before and we really wanted to win this one.”

“Winning always feels great,” she added. “We’re really happy for Jo, it was her first Grand Slam win so this one feels pretty great just for her.”

Homan blanked the first and took two in the second to opening the scoring up 2-0. Sweeting held shot stone in three before her last rock but threw it away as Homan made a tight freeze to hold her to just one.

Team Homan ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth facing two with their last shot, but Homan made the high-pressure draw to grab a bite of the button and get the single to regain the two-point advantage 3-1.

Homan made a double takeout with her last in five to sit two and force Sweeting to make a tap for one and draw within one.

Homan made a double tap to get another two points in six and put on the pressure in seven by lying five stones. Sweeting’s shot overcurled. She only gave up a steal of one but trailed by four coming home.

Homan made an open hit with her last shot in eight to run Sweeting out of rocks.

Prior to the game, Weagle sustained a gash on her forehead but was able to play in the final.

Sweeting entered the event as the defending champion, winning her first career Pinty’s GSOC title at the Masters a year ago.

Team Homan have now qualified for the second of two new events on the Pinty’s GSOC calendar, the Champions Cup. The season-ending tournament features all of the top winners on tour and runs April 26 to May 1, 2016, in Sherwood Park, Alta.

Homan just missed out on being the first team to qualify for the Champions Cup after falling to Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland in the final of inaugural Tour Challenge Tier 1 to start the Pinty’s GSOC season in September.

Courtney, who is originally from Edmonton, is looking forward to playing in a Pinty’s GSOC event in her home province.

“I think it’s going to be an awesome event,” she said. “It sounds like a really exciting concept. I’m excited to have the world junior champs there. I just think it’s going to be a really unique thing and it’s great that we’ve booked our spot there.”

Earlier Sunday, Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen won the men’s Masters title to earn his sixth career Pinty’s GSOC championship.

Next up on the 2015-16 Pinty’s GSOC schedule is the National, running Nov. 10-15 at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ont.

Miskew said she’s really excited for the National, which was previously a men’s invitational but has now expanded and will feature a women’s division for the first time.

“It’s so soon now so we just get to go home and have a little bit of a rest and recovery and then get back on the ice preparing for the next one,” Miskew said.

“We try to head into every event with the same thing in mind,” Courtney added. “We’re just focusing on the process, figure out the ice and make the shots as best as we can so we’ll celebrate this win but then we’ll put our heads down and work hard this week and get ready for next week.

“Quick turnaround and then off to Oshawa. That’s awesome, living the dream here. Curling is a great job.”