Bruce Mouat at the National final in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

National Live: Mouat wins 1st career GSOC title

November 19, 2017, 12:57 PM

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Scotland’s Bruce Mouat captured his first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title Sunday at the BOOST National.

Mouat defeated Chang-Min Kim of South Korea 9-4 in Sunday’s final. Team Mouat earns $30,000 from the $250,000 purse plus a berth in the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup taking place April 24-29, 2018, at Calgary’s WinSport Arena.

Here’s how it all went down:

7TH END: Handshakes! After Kim rubbed off the top stones to lie open, Mouat made no mistake to punch it out and score four. MOUAT 9, KIM 4

6TH END: Mouat was magical again making a cross-house double takeout followed by a double raise hit to sit one clearly in the house and another on the doorstep. Kim was forced to draw and landed at the top of the button. MOUAT 5, KIM 4

5TH END: Another steal for Mouat. After a flash on his first, Mouat was on the money with his second to kick aside Kim’s shot stone and sit one. Kim came up light on his last as third Se-Hyeon Seong had to jump in and sweep it into the house but couldn’t pull the string far enough. MOUAT 5, KIM 3

4TH END: Risk = reward as Bruce makes a beauty. With Kim sitting one buried, Mouat had a slim chance at tapping it out for three and went for it. Mouat pulled it off to leap back into the lead. MOUAT 4, KIM 3

3RD END: Things didn’t go well for Mouat. After clipping a guard with his first skip stone, Mouat faced two on his last and hit one but rolled just an inch too far in the four-foot circle. A measurement gave the steal to Kim. KIM 3, MOUAT 1

2ND END: Take two worked out better for Kim, who took two points. After Mouat hit and rolled on his last, Kim had an open draw and landed on the lid for a deuce. KIM 2, MOUAT 1

1ST END: Kim, who finished with a greater round-robin record, opened with the hammer but couldn’t convert as Mouat made a sharpshooting skip’s steal. Mouat made two perfect draws freezing on his first at the back of the four-foot circle and grabbing a piece of the button for shot rock with his second by missing Kim’s rock by the slimmest of margins. Kim came up short on his last to concede one. MOUAT 1, KIM O

Both Mouat and Kim were playing in their first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling final.

Team Mouat was just the second Scottish men’s squad to make it to a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling final. Compatriot Kyle Smith skipped his team to the Tour Challenge Tier 1 championship game last season falling to Niklas Edin of Sweden.

Team Kim was competing in its first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event ever, in fact, and is the first Asian-based crew to reach a final in the series. They captured the Pacific-Asia curling championship just last week in Australia.

Mouat has built quite the impressive resume already with a world junior gold medal in 2016 and a Winter Universiade gold medal earlier this year. He made his Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling debut at the 2016 Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Team Mouat retooled its roster this season with cousins Grant Hardie (third) and Hammy McMillan Jr. (lead) joining Mouat and Bobby Lammie (second). Hardie previously skipped his own team while McMillan played with Tom Brewster and won the Scottish national championship last year.

Mouat defeated Kim in back-to-back finals in September at the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard and Biosteel Oakville Fall Classic with both events taking place at the Oakville Curling Club in Ontario.

Two-time world champion and Olympic silver medallist David Murdoch was behind the boards coaching Team Mouat. Murdoch retired from competitive curling after last season.

Kim is supported by third Se-Hyeon Seong, second Eun-Su Oh and lead Ki-Bok Lee. They went 3-1 through the round-robin to qualify, defeated Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers in the quarterfinals and came back to beat Toronto’s John Epping in the semifinals. Kim scored three in the eighth to force an extra end and stole in OT when Epping missed the angle on a raise takeout attempt.

Mouat went 2-2 in round-robin play and then played the “giant killer” role bouncing defending champion and hometown hero Brad Jacobs in a tiebreaker to advance, knocking out 2016 world champion Kevin Koe of Calgary in the quarterfinals and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen in the semifinals.

The BOOST National is the third tournament and second major of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season. Coming up next is the Meridian Canadian Open running Jan. 16-21, 2018, at the Encana Arena in Camrose, Alta. Visit Camrosegsoc.goigniter.com or call 1-780-678-2868 for tickets.

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