Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gushue scores Swiss opener

BADEN, Switzerland – Brad Gushue, sporting some playoff scruff, won his second Baden Masters tour victory of the past three years with a 6-3 victory over Norway’s three-time world bronze medallist Thomas Ulsrud in the 2009 championship final.

The 2006 Olympic championship squad, which now features former Winnipegger Ryan Fry at second position, stole the third end and added a deuce in the fifth to hold a 4-2 lead after five ends.

The St. John’s foursome added a final steal in the eighth for the victory, which was worth 10,000 Swiss francs to start the 2009-2010 Olympic curling season.

Ulsrud was consoled with SF 5,000 for second place.

In the semifinals, the Gushues took out defending world champion David Murdoch from Scotland by an 8-2 count. In the other semi, Canada’s resurgent Randy Ferbey fell victim to a stunning five-ender in the second frame against Ulsrud, who went on to win the match by a 9-4 scoreline.

In the second round of the tournament, the Ferbey Four had dropped a fiver in the first end against France’s Thomas Dufour, but made a stirring comeback – stealing five points over the final three ends – to win by a 10-6 count.

In the third-place game, Ferbey defeated Murdoch 5-2.

Murdoch and Ulsrud are confirmed to represent their countries (Murdoch will represent Great Britain) at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Ferbey is confirmed for the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling (Olympic) Trials at Edmonton in early December, while Gushue will need to advance from a special domestic pre-Trials competition at Prince George, B.C. in November.

[Photo by Urs Raeber]

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