Scottish Championship action to get started in Perth
The 2017 Scottish Curling Championships return to Perth this weekend with Scotland’s top curlers competing for the national men’s and women’s Championship titles and the right to represent Scotland at the World Curling Championships later this year.
Dewars Centre will once again provide the setting for the flagship event, which sees the current women’s champion and Perth’s own Eve Muirhead return to defend her title – hoping to claim her seventh – along with four time men’s champ Tom Brewster of Aberdeen and his 2016 winning rink.
Play gets underway at 12:00 on Sunday 19th February with the first of two sessions that day featuring a strong field of ten men’s teams. Amongst the men’s field are 2016 Champions Team Brewster (pictured left), who have had a good season so far this year; earning the right to represent Scotland at the European Curling Championships, followed by wins in World Curling Tour (WCT) competitions, placing first at the Karuizawa International and topping the podium at the Perth Masters. They’ll be keeping a close eye on last year’s Scottish Curling Championships runners-up Team Murdoch, who are currently placed highest of any Scottish men’s team at twelfth on the WCT Order of Merit rankings. Brewster and Murdoch will meet in the round robin on Wednesday at midday.
Looking to make it to their first Scottish Curling Championships final are Team Smith, the team have had an impressive season, winning the Oakville OCT Fall Classic early on in the season and then being invited to take part in three events on the Grand Slam of Curling. They managed to make it all the way to the final in the Tour Challenge (Tier 1), only losing out to Team Edin (Sweden) – who are the current European Champions.
Fresh off a gold medal win at the 28th Winter Universiade Team Mouat (pictured right), the 2016 World Junior Curling Champions, will be looking to prove that they can take it to the next level at the Scottish Curling Championships. Team Hardie – having already secured the top spot in the 2017 Goldline Scottish Curling Tour, with one event still to be played – were caught up in the five way tie at last year’s Scottish Curling Championships and were denied a place in the page play off by Team Mouat and they’ll be looking to improve their final standing this season.
The relatively newly formed Team Fraser were able to claim the Forfar Open title earlier this season, beating Team Hardie in the final. In addition Team Taylor, Team Telfer, Team Hamilton and Team Whyte – without skip Ross Whyte who is currently representing Scotland at the World Curling Junior Championships – will take part in the Scottish Curling Championships.
Seven teams will compete in the Women’s Championship which gets underway a day later on Monday 20th at 08:00. Eve Muirhead’s Olympic medallists return to Perth following their bronze medal performance at the European Championships in November. Team Muirhead (pictured left) start their title defence against recent Great Britain representatives at the 28th Winter Universiade, Team G Aitken, who narrowly missed out on a semi-final spot after tight a tie-breaker game against Switzerland.
Hannah Fleming has made it to the final of the Championships three times and will hope to go all the way to claim gold this year. Team Fleming (pictured right) have proven that they can hold their own against top international teams this season with places in the final of the Stockholm Ladies Cup, Red Deer Curling Classic and Qinghai China Women’s International. They will meet the 2017 Scottish Curling Junior runners-up Team K Aitken on Tuesday afternoon. Completing the women’s section are Team Wilson, Team Smith and 2017 Asham Under 21 Slam winners Team MacDonald.
Both the Men’s and Women’s Championships will be played out in a round robin format with the top four teams in the men’s and top three teams in the women’s qualifying for the knockout stages.
The semi-finals are played on Friday night and finals take place on Saturday 25 February, with tickets for both the men’s and women’s finals on sale exclusively online via Eventbrite.
The Women’s and Men’s Champions will earn the right to represent Scotland at the World Curling Championships, where Scotland last medalled in both events in 2013; with the women taking gold and the men bronze in the World Championship events prior to the Winter Olympics held in Sochi in 2014. The Scottish Women’s Champions will earn the right to represent Scotland at the World Women’s Championship in Beijing, China from 18th – 26th March while the Men’s Champions will wear the blue of Scotland at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Edmonton, Canada from 1st – 9th April.
BBC Sport Scotland will once again be covering the event with highlights available on BBC 2 Scotland week commencing 27th February. There will be no live streaming online for the men’s and women’s final so the only way to watch is to be there and experience the action up close!
Both the men’s and women’s finals are ticketed and the only place to buy your tickets online is via Eventbrite. Click to buy your tickets for the 2017 Scottish Curling Championships Finals.
For accommodation in Perth visit Holiday Inn Express, Official Accommodation Providers of the 2017 Scottish Curling Championships.
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