Cotter moves to Players’ Championship

Cotter moves to Players’ Championship

Jim Cotter took in the Blue Jays’ home opener Tuesday before opening the Westjet Players’ Championship

A flight from Saskatoon to Toronto and then off to the Blue Jays’ home opener before opening the Westjet Players’ Championship Grand Slam of Curling at the Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

That was Jim Cotter’s day Tuesday, just three days after he and daughter, Jaelyn, just missed making the playoffs at the 2017 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Saskatoon.

The father-daughter combo lost a 5-3 tiebreaker Saturday to Kim and Wayne Tuck of Ilderton, Ont. at the Nutana Club. The Cotters went 4-3 in Pool C, while the Tucks were 4-3 in Pool B. There was a field of 32 entries.

“Jaelyn played really well; she stepped up to the plate and made some big shots,” said Jim. “We should have been 5-2 and in the playoffs. We had an unfortunate nick in our last game and that cost us the game.”

Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg claimed the title with a 9-6 extra-end win over Rachel Homan and John Morris of Calgary. Morris plays for Jim Cotter’s men’s rink.

Both teams came into the title game Sunday undefeated, having finished at the top of their respective pools in the round robin, and they were tied after eight ends in the final. But Carruthers and Courtney took control in the extra, and when Homan’s final draw was left a sliver exposed, Courtney made no mistake in removing the Homan/Morris counter to score three for the victory.

“It feels amazing. We had a great week,” said Courtney. “(Reid is an) awesome teammate and it was a great battle in the final there.”

“It was an awesome game,” added Carruthers. “(Joanne) bailed me out. She was the true skipper this week. I made a couple of good ones to help her out in this game. It was a lot of fun.”

Courtney, of Edmonton, and Carruthers, of Winnipeg, will now compete at the 2017 World Mixed Doubles Championship, April 22-29, in Lethbridge (held in conjunction with the World Seniors), and also earn $5,100 for the win.

Morris and Cotter, along with second Ty Griffifth and substitute lead Catlin Schneider of Regina, open the Players’ Championship Wednesday against Kevin Koe of Calgary. They face Mike McEwan of Winnipeg Thursday at noon. Schneider replaces injured Rick Sawatsky for the two season-ending cashspiels.