Three-time champion Rachel Homan off to winning start at Masters

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Rachel Homan is off to a winning start at the Grand Slam of Curling's Masters event.

Homan's Ottawa rink opened the event with an 8-7 win over Sweden's Isabella Wrana on Tuesday afternoon.

Homan, a three-time Masters champion, scored three in the sixth end. Wrana responded with a single in the seventh, then stole one in the eighth in falling just short.

Later in the day, Calgary's Brendan Botcher kicked off his tournament with a 6-5 win victory over Marco Hoesli of Switzerland.

The Canadians got off to an early lead with two in the first and Hoesli battled back with three in the eighth before Botcher closed the door with a single in the ninth end.

In other results, Scotland's Ross Whyte downed Kevin Koe of Calgary 7-3, Italy's Joel Retornaz took a 7-2 win over Saskatoon's Colton Flasch and Sweeden's Team Edin dominated Switzerland's Michael Brunner 7-1.

Earlier, South Korea's Gim Eun-Ji defeated Lethbridge, Alta.-based Team Scheidegger 9-3, Calgary's Chelsea Carey edged Sweden's Anna Hasselborg 5-4 and Michele Jaggi beat Silvia Tirinzoni 6-5 in an all-Swiss showdown.

Canadian skips Brad Gushue and Matt Dunstone dropped their opening games.

Yannick Schwaller's Swiss side ran Gushue out of rocks in a 5-3 victory at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.

Norway's Magnus Ramsfjell scored a single in the eighth end for a 5-4 win over Dunstone.

At No. 2, Dunstone's Winnipeg-based rink is the top-ranked Canadian team on the year-to-date world rankings list. Sweden's Niklas Edin is No. 1 and Gushue, from St. John's, N.L., is third.

In other early games, Toronto's John Epping defeated Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers 7-3 and Scotland's Bruce Mouat dumped American Korey Dropkin 8-2.

Play continues through Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press