Grant Dezura of Maple Ridge took the tourist route while winning the Prestige Hotels & Resorts Curling Classic.
Nine games in four days didn’t faze Dezura as he iced Brent Pierce of Kelowna 8-3 in five ends Monday night in the men’s final of the $62,000 cashspiel. He earned $7,000.
Dezura, third Kevin MacKenzie of Kelowna and front-enders Jamie Smith (Kelowna) and Kevin Recksiedler (Maple Ridge) had enough adrenaline left to count four in the fifth end to bury Pierce.
Dezura, who pocketed $2,600 in the Cloverdale Cashspiel three weeks ago, still had a strong enough voice to issue advice in the final, delayed an hour after Dezura needed an extra end to stop 22-year-old Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton 7-6 in the semis.
“We were getting a little tired, but we managed to stay sharp early there and put some pressure on them,” said the amiable Dezura, who turns 41 in two weeks. “It was pretty much come off the ice, have a quick sandwich and get back out there so we’ve been going since nine; it’s been a long day.”
The teams swapped deuces in the opening ends before Dezura took two in the third end and Pierce earned a single in four. MacKenzie, who throws skip rocks for Dezura, knocked out Pierce’s shot-rock blue stone and stuck for a four-spot in the fifth end.
“He’s been throwing ‘em great all weekend and we knew that spot on the ice and with that kind of weight,” said Dezura, of MacKenzie. “It was only about a two-foot runback so it was easy; he put it right on the nose.”
Dezura was forced to the C event after losing to Vernon’s Jim Cotter Friday night. Dezura, who runs two insurance companies, edged Ken McArdle of Vancouver 5-4 in the quarterfinals Monday morning.
Dezura will try for a threepeat at the $40,000 Kamloops Crown of Curling, Oct. 17-20.
Pierce, who lives in New Westminster, had Jeff Richard at third, Tyler Orme at second and Dave Harper at lead. Richard and Orme have curled together for 20 years, and like Harper, live in Kelowna.
Orme learned how to curl growing up in Vernon, claiming the 1997 provincial junior men’s title with T.J. Perepolkin.
“It’s been an interesting day,” said the smiling Orme. “We had a few close games and the last one kind of got away from us, but we can’t be too disappointed. It was our first spiel together as a full squad so we can take some learning experience from that and try and improve for the next one.”
Pierce, a former world champion alongside Greg McAulay, pocketed $5,000. He likes what Orme brings to the foursome, which is sponsored by Rellish Transport of Armstrong.
“It’s my first tournament curling with Ty and I curled against him for many, many years and he’s a really good guy, I like him a lot and he’s a good teammate. He’s working hard out there and we’ll see how it moves forward.”
Pierce came from behind to clip Cotter 5-4 in the other semifinal Monday afternoon.
There was a field of 16 men’s rinks with Cotter and Bottcher each bagging $4,000.
On the 24-team women’s side, Ayumi Ogasawara of Sapporo, Japan shocked the field by brushing back Val Sweeting of Edmonton 5-4 in Sunday’s final.
Sweeting had clipped Ogasawara 7-6 in an extra end, in the opening draw of preliminary play. Ogasawara banked $7,500, while Sweeting collected $5,500.
Ogasawara stopped Satsuki Fujisawa of Nagano, Japan 5-3, while Sweeting toppled Kelly Scott of Kelowna 6-2 in the semis. Fujisawa and Scott each took home $4,000.
“We are a new team still trying to do different things,” said Ogasawara. “We were in a tough pool and were not expected to make the playoffs. We never gave up today.”
Ogasawara was supported by Sayaka Yoshimura, Kaho Onodera and Anna Ohmiya. Sweeting was backed by Andrea Crawford, Dana Ferguson and Rachel Pidherny.
Sweeting won the 2014 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts and then lost 8-6 to Rachel Homan in the Canadian Hearts final.
“We missed the important shots that we needed to make,” said Sweeting, 27. “Other than that, we have good communication and are playing well together. We have eight, nine more tournaments until playdowns.”