April 8, 2012
Canada and Scotland played out a tense final of the World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday afternoon in front of a packed house of some 3,000 spectators. After an extra end in a highly-competitive game, Canada emerged as 8-7 winners when their skip Glenn Howard delivered a well-judged draw-shot for the one point he needed for victory.
Canada - Skip Glenn Howard, third Wayne Middaugh, second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill - had last stone advantage in this game, but Scotland managed to steal a single point in the first end when Howard rolled too far with his final hit of the end. However, the first major break-through came in the third end when Scottish skip Tom Brewster was heavy with his last stone, leaving Howard an easy hit to score three points for a 3-1 lead.
The Scots - Skip Tom Brewster, third Greg Drummond, second Scott Andrews and lead Michael Goodfollow - drew level in the very next end when Brewster was able to draw for two points.
The teams swapped single points in the next two ends and, in the seventh end, Howard was just good enough with a delicate tap-up to score two points for a 6-4 lead. But staying tenacious all the way, the Scots responded in the next end when Brewster had a draw for two to level the game again, at 6-6.
The Scots forced Canada to take a single in the ninth end and Brewster then carved out a chance to win the title in the tenth end, but his hit was just not precise enough and he took out one of his own stones as well as his Canadian target to score just one point, rather than the two points he was looking for.
Canada had the crucial last stone advantage in the extra end and eventually Howard drew within a Scottish stone already sitting in the house to score the one point needed, and what was – for Howard - a fourth world title (1987, 1993, 2007 & 2012).
After the game, an elated Howard said: “I won my first world title twenty-five years ago and this one’s just as special, maybe more so. It just feels great to win. This win feels special; they get more special because I don’t think I’ll be getting back (to the World Championship). I can’t give enough praise to my team, they’ve been fantastic all year. We hung in there, it wasn’t our ‘A’ game but we got it done with a ‘B ’ game.”
Howard was gracious about his opponents. He said: “Brewster and the boys threw everything at us - we were a little fortunate,” adding: “He threw a good shot in ten and it didn’t curl – I don’t know why. I was worried watching it - if he makes it, its game over and he’s the world champion.” And Howard’s overall reaction? “God, it feels good, it feels sweet.”
Hardly surprisingly, Brewster’s reaction was of disappointment. He said: “I’m gutted. I thought we were the better team, I really did. I thought we played some great curling, an inch more curl on that shot in the tenth and we’re there.”
This was the second successive final loss for Brewster and his team, and thinking about that Brewster said: “Twelve months ago we were in the same position and we’re miles better than last year. We’ve made big improvements since last year on fitness and sweeping, and we’ve just got more experience. Our team played great here – what an effort. We’ve had a strong week here and we’ve got a big future.”
During the closing ceremony, New Zealand third player Sean Becker was declared the winner of the World Curling Federation Collie Campbell Memorial Award, voted by the players at the event to the curler who best exhibits sportsmanship and ability.
The 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship also earned Olympic qualifying points for the competing nations. Based on cumulative points earned for their finishes at the 2012 and 2013 Men’s Championships, the top seven countries (host Russia receives an automatic entry), will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The points are as follows: Canada 14, Scotland* 12, Sweden 10, Norway 9, New Zealand 8, China 7, Denmark 6, USA 5, Switzerland 4, France 3, Germany 2, Czech Republic 1. (Russia as host has guaranteed qualification. *Great Britain’s qualification points are gained by Scotland at World Championships)
An additional two nations will have the chance to win their ticket to Sochi at a new World Curling Federation Olympic Qualifying Event to be held in December 2013. All nations having competed at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Championships would be eligible to compete in this event if they have not already secured their spot at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Gold Medal: Canada 8, Scotland 7.
1. Canada 12-1 (Gold medal)
2. Scotland 9-5 (Silver medal)
3. Sweden 10-5 (Bronze medal)
4. Norway 8-5
5. New Zealand 7-5
6. China 6-5
7. Denmark 6-5
8. USA 4-7
9. Switzerland 3-8
10. France 3-8
11. Germany 2-9
12. Czech Republic 2-9
The Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2013 will take place in Victoria, British Columbia Canada from 30 March to 7 April at the 6,500-seat Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, the same Venue are the 2005 Ford World Men’s.
For more information about this year's event website