Brendan Bottcher opens Canadian Open with a 7-4 win over Steve Laycock

Bottcher opens Canadian Open with a win

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher beat Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock 7-4 on Tuesday in the first draw of the Grand Slam of Curling’s Canadian Open.

The event features a triple knockout preliminary round where teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the playoffs.

Bottcher’s rink stays in the A event of the triple knockout preliminary round while Laycock drops to B.

Greg Balsdon of Kingston, Ont., and his rink topped Toronto’s John Epping, last year’s champion, 7-4.

Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., eked out an 8-7 victory over Saskatoon’s Bruce Korte in extra ends. Korte earned the sponsor’s exemption for the event.

John Shuster of the United States also scored an 8-7 extra-end win versus Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers.

Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni took a 6-4 win over Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson.

Winners of the Canadian Open qualify for the season-ending Champions Cup taking place at the end of April in Calgary.

The Canadian Press