Done in Yorkton, getting ready for Phoenix. That’s where curler Jim Cotter’s mindset is sitting after he was ousted from the $100,000 Meridian Canadian Open Friday afternoon at the Gallagher Centre.
The 41-year-old Vernon skip lost 5-2 to Mike McEwen of Winnipeg in Draw 11 and finished 1-3 in the triple-knockout affair. There is a field of 16 teams.
Cotter stayed alive by stopping Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont. 5-3 Thursday night at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event.
Cotter, backed by third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky, is ringing the Yorkton trip up as a learning seminar.
“We’ve had a really good season so far and this one just one of those off events for us,” Cotter told The Morning Star. “We hadn’t played for a while and were off early and couldn’t get things going. We won’t make enough to cover our expenses, but that’s curling.”
Cotter fell behind 4-0 after McEwen posted deuces in the third and fourth ends. McEwen added a single in five with Cotter answering with two in seven.
Cotter shot 82 per cent, while McEwen hit 86 per cent of his shots. Griffith finished at 97 per cent on his 14 shots.
“The guys played pretty good, but I struggled a bit,” said Cotter, of the loss. Kuhn lives in Vernon, while Griffith and Sawatsky are based out of Kelowna.
Against Howard, Cotter and Sawatsky each counted 88 per cent with Howard struggling at 69 per cent.
Cotter scored two in the fourth end to move in front 3-2. He added singles in five and seven.
The Vernon rink now prepares for the Ed Werenich Golden Wrench Classic, Jan. 22-24, in Phoenix. The purse is US$15,300.
“That should be a really good tune-up for the provincials (he is defending champion),” said Cotter, who is flying home from Regina tonight.
The Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Curling Championships go Feb. 10-14, in Nelson, and are presented by EZ Rock and Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism.