Martin erases early deficit to edge Stoughton for BDO Curling Classic title

November 7, 2004, 8:00 PM

HAMILTON, Ont. — Kevin Martin erased a five-point deficit to defeat Jeff Stoughton 10-9 and win the BDO Curling Classic title Sunday.

Martin, ranked No. 1 in the world, and his 2002 Olympic silver medal teammates Don Walchuk, Carter Rycroft and Don Bartlett took home $30,000.

“Man, we hung in there,” Martin said in a World Curling Tour release. “This is a huge win, with us chasing an Olympic Trials spot. It’s huge.”

Stoughton jumped out to a big five-point lead early when Martin’s last shot of the first end picked to give the Winnipeg skip an easy open draw for five.

Martin, of Edmonton, bounced back counting three in the fourth.

“Well, you’re never really out of it that early,” Martin said, “but if there’s one more bad end, then we’re dead.

“That three-ender was big. All of a sudden you’re thinking it’s not over, you’re not out of it.”

Stoughton scored a deuce in the eighth and led 9-8 with two ends to play. Martin settled for a single in the ninth to tie it up and stole the winning point in the 10th after Stoughton’s final draw attempt to the eight-foot circle rolled away heavy.

Team Stoughton took home $18,000.

A Howard vs. Howard brother battle for the title at Hamilton’s Glendale Golf & Country Club was denied in the semifinals. Stoughton ousted Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., 8-5 while Martin topped Moncton’s Russ Howard 5-3.

Russ Howard competed in his first Grand Slam of Curling event since the series formed in 2001-02.

“For me it was the 1993 deja vu Brier,” Russ Howard said. “Vic Peters, Rick Folk, Kerry Burtnyk, Ed Werenich. Even Kevin Martin, I’ve only played him about 600 times as well. It was like a reunion and it was kinda neat. And we beat a lot of them, too.”

The Howard teams claimed $12,000 each.

The BDO Curling Classic was the first leg in the four-event 2004-05 Grand Slam of Curling season. The next stop is the Masters running Dec. 9-12 in Humboldt, Sask.