Players’ Championship: History

Players' Championship

The Players’ Championship is the fourth and final major of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season and is the crown jewel event of the series. Also known as the tour championship, the Players’ Championship features the top-ranked teams of the season and is arguably the hardest title to win on tour.

The event predates the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling itself and was first held in Calgary in 1993, known originally as the VO Cup. The powerhouse team of Russ Howard, Glenn Howard, Wayne Middaugh, and Peter Corner claimed the inaugural Players’ Championship title. It was a dream season for the foursome as they also won the Brier and world championships that year.

Middaugh won three of four Players’ Championship tournaments from 1999 to 2002, with a loss to Team Martin in the 2000 final denying a four-peat.

A women’s division was added in 2006 with Jennifer Jones winning the first.

John Epping, who won the National in 2008 with Middaugh’s team, earned his first Grand Slam title as a skip in 2012, edging Team Howard 7-6 in the final and avenging a loss to Team Howard earlier that season in the World Cup of Curling (Masters) final. It was also extra special for Epping’s second Scott Howard, who earned his first-ever Grand Slam title in the process by defeating his father Glenn. Team Epping beat the odds, too, as they were the No. 8 seed in the event.

The 2013 Players’ Championship women’s final came down to a world championship rematch between Scotland’s Team Muirhead and Sweden’s Team Sigfridsson. The world champs prevailed again as Muirhead’s crew became the first non-Canadian team to win a Grand Slam of Curling event. Muirhead also became the youngest skip to win a Grand Slam title at age 22.

It was an emotional 2014 Players’ Championship with legendary skip Kevin Martin announcing he would retire at the conclusion of the event. Martin reached the final against Team Jacobs in a matchup between the 2010 Olympic gold medallist (Martin) and the recently crowned 2014 Olympic champions (Jacobs). Martin capped his career on a high note winning 4-3 to earn his record 18th Grand Slam men’s title.

Jacobs was back in the title picture the following year looking to earn his first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling championship at the 2015 Players’ Championship in Toronto. Team Jacobs faced off against Team McEwen, who had already won two Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events during a sensational tour season. Jacobs stole the winning point in the final end to claim not only the Players’ Championship title but also the Pinty’s Cup.

It was deja vu on the women’s side with Muirhead taking home the Players’ Championship title once again in Toronto. Muirhead stole points in the final two ends to beat Team Sidorova 4-2. Muirhead then made it three in four years defeating Team Jones to capture the 2016 Players’ Championship crown.

Team Gushue took the men’s title in 2016 topping defending champions Team Jacobs to complete a career Grand Slam.

Team Sinclair became the first United States-based club to win a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling trophy when they captured the 2018 Players’ Championship women’s title.

Champions

Season Men’s Champions Women’s Champions
1992-93 Team Howard
Skip: Russ Howard
Third: Glenn Howard
Second: Wayne Middaugh
Lead: Peter Corner
1993-94 Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: Kevin Park
Second: James Pahl
Lead: Don Bartlett
1994-95 Team McEachern
Skip: Murray McEachern
Third: Rick Schneider
Second: Daryl Nixon
Lead: Larry Schneider
1995-96 Team Middaugh
Skip: Wayne Middaugh
Third: Graeme McCarrel
Second: Ian Tetley
Lead: Scott Bailey
1996-97 Team Howard
Skip: Russ Howard
Third: Glenn Howard
Second: Scott Patterson
Lead: Phil Loevenmark
1997-98 Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: Don Walchuk
Second: Rudy Ramcharan
Lead: Marcel Rocque
1998-99 Team Middaugh
Skip: Wayne Middaugh
Third: Graeme McCarrel
Second: Ian Tetley
Lead: Scott Bailey
1999-00 Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: Don Walchuk
Second: Carter Rycroft
Lead: Don Bartlett
2000-01 Team Middaugh
Skip: Wayne Middaugh
Third: Graeme McCarrel
Second: Ian Tetley
Lead: Scott Bailey
2001-02 Team Middaugh
Skip: Wayne Middaugh
Third: Graeme McCarrel
Second: Ian Tetley
Lead: Scott Bailey
2002-03 Team Stoughton
Skip: Jeff Stoughton
Third: Jon Mead
Second: Gary VanDenBerghe
Lead: Jim Spencer
2003-04 morris
Team Morris
Skip: John Morris
Third: Kevin Koe
Second: Marc Kennedy
Lead: Paul Moffatt
2004-05 Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: Don Walchuk
Second: Carter Rycroft
Lead: Don Bartlett
2005-06 Team Ferbey
Skip: Randy Ferbey
Fourth: David Nedohin
Second: Scott Pfeifer
Lead: Marcel Rocque
Team Jones
Skip: Jennifer Jones
Third: Cathy Overton-Clapham
Second: Jill Officer
Lead: Georgina Wheatcroft
2006-07 martin
Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: John Morris
Second: Marc Kennedy
Lead: Ben Hebert
jones
Team Jones
Skip: Jennifer Jones
Third: Cathy Overton-Clapham
Second: Jill Officer
Lead: Dawn Askin
2007-08 howard
Team Howard
Skip: Glenn Howard
Third: Richard Hart
Second: Brent Laing
Lead: Craig Savill
holland
Team Holland
Skip: Amber Holland
Third: Kim Schneider
Second: Tammy Schneider
Lead: Heather Seeley
2008-09 ferbey
Team Ferbey
Skip: Randy Ferbey
Fourth: David Nedohin
Second: Scott Pfeifer
Lead: Marcel Rocque
jones
Team Jones
Skip: Jennifer Jones
Third: Cathy Overton-Clapham
Second: Jill Officer
Lead: Dawn Askin
2009-10 martin
Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: John Morris
Second: Marc Kennedy
Lead: Ben Hebert
bernard
Team Bernard
Skip: Cheryl Bernard
Third: Susan O’Connor
Second: Carolyn Darbyshire
Lead: Cori Bartel
2010-11 martin
Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: John Morris
Second: Marc Kennedy
Lead: Ben Hebert
jones
Team Jones
Skip: Jennifer Jones
Third: Kaitlyn Lawes
Second: Jill Officer
Lead: Dawn Askin
2011-12 epping
Team Epping
Skip: John Epping
Third: Scott Bailey
Second: Scott Howard
Lead: David Mathers
lawton
Team Lawton
Skip: Stefanie Lawton
Third: Sherry Anderson
Second: Sherri Singler
Lead: Marliese Kasner
2012-13 howard
Team Howard
Skip: Glenn Howard
Third: Wayne Middaugh
Second: Brent Laing
Lead: Craig Savill
muirhead
Team Muirhead
Skip: Eve Muirhead
Third: Anna Sloan
Second: Vicki Adams
Lead: Claire Hamilton
2013-14 martin
Team Martin
Skip: Kevin Martin
Third: Marc Kennedy
Second: David Nedohin
Lead: Ben Hebert
jones
Team Jones
Skip: Jennifer Jones
Third: Kaitlyn Lawes
Second: Jill Officer
Lead: Dawn McEwen
2014-15 jacobs
Team Jacobs
Skip: Brad Jacobs
Third: Ryan Fry
Second: E.J. Harnden
Lead: Ryan Harnden
muirhead
Team Muirhead
Skip: Eve Muirhead
Third: Anna Sloan
Second: Vicki Adams
Lead: Sarah Reid
2015-16 gushue
Team Gushue
Skip: Brad Gushue
Third: Mark Nichols
Second: Brett Gallant
Lead: Geoff Walker
muirhead
Team Muirhead
Skip: Eve Muirhead
Third: Vicki Adams
Second: Cathy Overton-Clapham
Lead: Sarah Reid
2016-17 edin
Team Edin
Skip: Niklas Edin
Third: Oskar Eriksson
Second: Rasmus Wrana
Lead: Christoffer Sundgren
jones
Team Jones
Skip: Jennifer Jones
Third: Kaitlyn Lawes
Second: Jill Officer
Lead: Dawn McEwen
2017-18 koe
Team Koe
Skip: Kevin Koe
Third: Marc Kennedy
Second: Brent Laing
Lead: Ben Hebert
sinclair
Team Sinclair
Skip: Jamie Sinclair
Third: Alexandra Carlson
Second: Vicky Persinger
Lead: Monica Walker
2018-19 bottcher
Team Bottcher
Skip: Brendan Bottcher
Third: Darren Moulding
Second: Bradley Thiessen
Lead: Karrick Martin
sinclair
Team Einarson
Skip: Kerri Einarson
Third: Val Sweeting
Second: Shannon Birchard
Lead: Briane Meilleur