Jason Gunnlaugson wins GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2

Jason Gunnlaugson (Winnipeg, MB) wins the GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2, drawing the 8-foot in defeating William Lyburn (Winnipeg, MB) 8-7. Gunnlaugson with Alex Forrest at third, Ian McMillan and Connor Njegovan on the front end take home the $10,000CDN first place cheque along with 46.519 world ranking points, while Lyburn receives $8,000CDN and 36.551 world ranking points for their second place finish.

For Gunnlaugson, the win also includes an all-expenses trip to the Masters of Curling in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan on October 24-30.

Starting with hammer, Gunnlaugson scored 2 in the first end, then added a steal in the second end for an early 3-0 lead. Lyburn scored 2 in the third end, then forced Gunnlaugson to a single in the fourth end to extend lead to cut the lead to 4-2. Lyburn scored 4 in the fifth end, but Gunnlaugson responded in the sixth end scoring 3, then forced Lyburn to a single in the seventh end resulting to hold the hammer tied into the 8th end. Left with a centre guard in play and a Lyburn stone in the back eight-foot, Gunnlaugson needed all three sweepers to draw for his single point and the 8-7 win.

In the semifinals, Gunnlaugson defeated Carl deConinck Smith (Rosetown, SK) 7-6 and Lyburn stole the extra end to defeat Brendan Bottcher (Edmonton, AB) 7-6. Bottcher and deConinck Smith earned $5,000CDN and 28.244 ranking points for their semifinal finishes. In the quarterfinals, Gunnlaugson defeated Josh Heidt (Saskatoon, SK) 6-5, Lyburn defeated Rui Liu (Harbin, CHN) 5-4 in an extra end, while Bottcher defeated Greg Balsdon (Kingston, ON) 8-4 and deConinck Smith defeated Craig Brown (Madison, USA) 5-3. Brown, Liu, Heidt and Balsdon earned $3,500CDN along with 19.937 ranking points for their quarterfinal finishes.

Gunnlaugson went 3-1 in the 15 team three pools qualifying round. In their opening game, Gunnlaugson defeated Jason Jacobson (Saskatoon, SK) 10-1, then won against Greg Drummond (Stirling, SCO) 7-2, won against Lyburn 6-1 before losing their final game to Brown 8-2.

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