Murdoch curls 100 percent to oust Koe in WFG Masters tiebreaker

October 29, 2016, 12:11 AM

OKOTOKS, Alta. — It was a long day at the office Friday for Scotland’s David Murdoch.

Murdoch entered the day with a 2-0 record and needed just one more win in order to qualify for the playoffs at the WFG Masters.

Following back-to-back round-robin losses to even his record, Murdoch clocked in OT work and saved his best for last making it through a tiebreaker game by curling a perfect 100 percent in a convincing 7-3 win over reigning world champion Kevin Koe of Calgary.

“You don’t mind playing long days if you get the results like that and for us to have that type of performance against those guys because they’re such a good team and they’re always so tough to beat,” Murdoch said. “We’ve been looking at trying to beat them for a long time. You have to play your best game against them and for us we did that tonight.”

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The teams kept pace through the first half matching singles in the first two ends and deuces in three and four with the game all square 3-3 at halftime.

Murdoch then took control easing his last into the house for three points in the fifth and then forced Koe to make a bullet shot to blow up a crowded house in six that misfired and resulted in a steal of one.

It may have seemed like they got shafted on the schedule by having to play in all three morning round-robin draws during the week, however, Murdoch believes with the jet lag it helped as they were up early anyway.

“We pretty much stayed on UK time,” he said with a laugh. “We’ve been up so early, that’s what we’re used to with the jet lag and having the early draws have actually worked for us this week.”

“Obviously we’re just looking forward to playing tomorrow and try and take the form that we’ve shown in some of our games and into the playoffs,” Murdoch added. “We don’t want to stop there, we want to keep this going.”

Murdoch meets top-seed Steve Laycock of Saskatoon in Saturday’s men’s quarterfinals. Toronto’s John Epping finished as the No. 2 seed and takes on Niklas Edin of Sweden. Reid Carruthers and Mike McEwen clash in an all-Winnipeg rink affair and it’s a battle of Olympic gold medallists with Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., taking on the Mark Nichols-skipped Team Gushue crew from St. John’s, N.L. (watch on CBC at 11 a.m. MT).

Elsewhere, EunJung Kim of South Korea completed a 4-0 run for the top seed on the women’s side brushing past Alina Paetz of Switzerland 6-2. Paetz, the 2015 world champion, has been eliminated at 1-3.

Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni (3-1) is through after taking out Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., 7-3. Tirinzoni was practically perfect as well throwing an outstanding 98 percent. Fleury finishes with a 1-3 record.

Binia Feltscher of Switzerland gave up a steal of two in eight that tied it, but sealed the 6-5 win in the extra end over Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones.

Allison Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., faces Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson in the lone women’s tiebreaker game (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. MT).

The winner takes on Kim in the quarterfinals (3 p.m. on Sportsnet), with Feltscher and Tirinzoni meeting in an all-Swiss rink battle, Hasselborg taking on Calgary’s Chelsea Carey and Jones playing Ottawa’s Rachel Homan.

NOTES: The WFG Masters is the first of seven events on the 2016-17 Pinty’s GSOC schedule. … The event is also the first of four majors in the series alongside the Boost National, Meridian Canadian Open and WestJet Players’ Championship. … The WFG Masters runs through to Sunday at Pason Centennial Arena.