Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and Jamie Korab (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Brad Gushue captures National to win first Grand Slam title

January 10, 2010, 4:00 PM

GUELPH, Ont. — The one that got away came back to Brad Gushue.

The reigning Olympic champion from St. John’s, N.L., earned his first career Grand Slam title at the National with a 6-4 win over Edmonton’s Randy Ferbey in Sunday’s final.

It was a case of redemption for Gushue, who fell in last year’s National final to Wayne Middaugh after giving up a steal in the final end.

Gushue, third Mark Nichols, second Ryan Fry and lead Jamie Korab earned $24,000 of the $100,000 prize purse for winning the event plus 40.000 Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points.

“We’ve been playing good all year,” Gushue said. “We’ve had four wins before this and to get the fifth at a Grand Slam is nice. This is the best field we’re going to face all year. We played good and we went head-to-head with a lot of the top teams — Ferbey, [Glenn Howard and Mike McEwen] — in the last three games. It’s nice to come through with three wins.”

Gushue pulled ahead with a runback in the fourth end to score three and grab a 4-2 lead. The four-time world champion Ferbey drew even with a deuce in the sixth and Gushue blanked the seventh the retain the hammer coming home.

Nichols saved the end for Gushue with a triple peel on his first shot and a double runback on his second to take out Ferbey’s guard and shot rocks.

“In the last end we had the steal set up,” Ferbey said. “Mark made a couple good runbacks and got them out of trouble. Looking back, maybe we should have tried something a little different on my first one. That’s what it came down to. I firmly believe we probably had a better chance to win that game if Mark doesn’t make the double runback.”

With the house cleaned up, Gushue just needed to make a hit around a tight guard to count the game-winning deuce.

Ferbey and his Edmonton squad of fourth David Nedohin, second Scott Pfeifer and lead Marcel Rocque collected $17,000 and 27.000 CTRS points. Both teams finished the tournament with 6-2 records.

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin, who will represent Canada next month at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, finished the round-robin portion with a 1-4 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs at a Grand Slam event for the first time since 2003. American John Shuster, who is also set to compete at the Vancouver Winter Games, missed the playoffs as well while Great Britain’s David Murdoch was bounced in the quarterfinals.