Brad Gushue watches a shot during the Boost National in Sault Ste. Marie, ON on December 10, 2016. (Anil Mungal)

Gushue, Homan headline field for Players’ Championship

March 22, 2017, 5:23 PM

The top men’s and women’s teams from around the world are set to square off in the crown jewel event of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling.

The full field has been announced for the WestJet Players’ Championship running April 11-16 at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.


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Teams were invited based on the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date standings as of March 13 with top-ranked Niklas Edin of Sweden and Ottawa’s Rachel Homan leading the way.

John Morris is pretty pumped to compete in the WestJet Players’ Championship and looks to carry the momentum from Sunday’s Princess Auto Elite 10 title victory as his Vernon, B.C., team is in the hunt for an Olympic Trials spot.

“The Players’ Championship is huge,” Morris said. “It’s the biggest event of the year, tied probably with the Brier. It’s massive. We’re in a big points battle. We’ve just got to really prepare well and going into that with some good confidence. I can’t wait for it.”

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling will also award the Rogers Grand Slam Cup to the overall season champions following the conclusion of the WestJet Players’ Championship. The Rogers Grand Slam Cup winners receive $75,000 bonuses.

The former Maple Leaf Gardens hosts the WestJet Players’ Championship for the third consecutive season and fourth time in five years. Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., defeated defending champ Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in last year’s men’s final to complete a career Grand Slam. Gushue also topped the overall point standings to claim the Rogers Grand Slam Cup.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s Eve Muirhead won her third career Players’ Championship with a win over Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones. All three of Muirhead’s Players’ Championship victories have occurred at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Homan, who earned the Rogers Grand Slam Cup, came close to sweeping the four majors, but fell in the Players’ Championship quarterfinals to Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson.

The WestJet Players’ Championship is the penultimate event of the 2016-17 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling schedule and is also the fourth and final major of the season (following the WFG Masters, the Boost National and the Meridian Canadian Open).

Winners receive berths to the Humpty’s Champions Cup, the final event of the 2016-17 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season, taking place April 25-30 in Calgary.

A full draw schedule of matchups for the WestJet Players’ Championship will be announced in the near future.

Below is the full list of teams for the WestJet Players’ Championship:

MEN’S DIVISION

WCT YTD Rank Team Hometown
1 Niklas Edin Karlstad, SWE
2 Brad Gushue St. John’s, NL
3 Reid Carruthers Winnipeg, MB
4 Brad Jacobs Sault Ste. Marie, ON
5 John Epping Toronto, ON
6 Mike McEwen Winnipeg, MB
7 Kevin Koe Calgary, AB
8 Steve Laycock Saskatoon, SK
9 Kyle Smith Stirling, SCO
10 John Morris Vernon, BC
12 Peter de Cruz Geneva, SUI
13 Brendan Bottcher Edmonton, AB

WOMEN’S DIVISION

WCT YTD Rank Team Hometown
1 Rachel Homan Ottawa, ON
2 Anna Hasselborg Sundbyberg, SWE
3 Jennifer Jones Winnipeg, MB
4 Silvana Tirinzoni Aarau, SUI
5 Allison Flaxey Caledon, ON
6 Val Sweeting Edmonton, AB
7 Casey Scheidegger Lethbridge, AB
8 Eve Muirhead Stirling, SCO
9 Michelle Englot Winnipeg, MB
10 Bingyu Wang Harbin, CHN
11 Margaretha Sigfridsson Skelleftea, SWE
12 Tracy Fleury Sudbury, ON

Note: In the event a team declined, the next-ranked team on the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date list was invited.

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