Manitoba clinches men’s title with undefeated Masters run

Manitoba skip Ron Westcott has been curling for 64 years and the biggest win of his career came on Sunday. "My mom is here, she's upstairs and she's 104 years old, my brother is here," said Westcott.

Manitoba skip Ron Westcott has been curling for 64 years and the biggest win of his career came on Sunday.

“My mom is here, she’s upstairs and she’s 104 years old, my brother is here,” said Westcott. “My mom has now been to three Canadians to see us curl, so finally I won one for mom. She is as sharp as a tack and when I don’t curl good, she lets me know.

“Curling is a big part of my life, so to finally win something like this is amazing … I will remember this forever.”

The Westcott rink went undefeated to win the men’s title at the 2015 Canadian Masters Curling Championship at the Whitehorse Curling Club on Sunday.

The rink, based out of Winnipeg, clinched the title with a 6-3 win over Northern Ontario, who took silver.

Manitoba went 9-0 in the round robin throughout last week and topped B.C. 7-5 in Saturday’s semifinals to reach the final.

Last week’s championship was Westcott’s fourth Canadian Masters and first time winning it. He’s been the runner-up and third-place skip in previous appearances.

“I’m 70 years old now, so I don’t have many left, but to win it here in such fabulous location – I can’t believe (it),” said Westcott. “I’m from the Prairies and I look out the window from the curling club and I see mountains, there’s something special about that. We just see wheat fields.”

Westcott, who was curling with third Ken Dusablon, second Bob Boughey and lead Howard Restall, had a big fourth end in the final. They scored four to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

“We made a few good come-arounds and we had last rock,” said Westcott. “They got into the situation where they had to save the end and he just ticked off and opened a little port and I went through and got him out for four.”

“It’s always disappointing (to lose), but we had a good week, we played well,” said Northern Ontario skip Gordon Williams. “The other guys played better today. We’re happy.”

The Northern Ontario rink, which was based out of Thunder Bay, included third Edward Pedersen, second Ernie Surkan and lead Ed Kolvula. They came up early to play in the Whitehorse International Bonspiel before the Masters and won the D division.

“Whitehorse is a great city,” said Williams. “(This is) one of the best curling club’s I’ve ever been in – the best ice I’ve ever curled on. Those ice-makers deserve two thumbs up all the time. Great ice, great rocks, we couldn’t ask for anything more – one more win!”

Steve Ogden’s rink from Nova Scotia took the bronze with a 7-0, five-end win over Gerald Kent’s team from B.C.

Yukon’s rink, led by skip George Hilderman, placed eighth.

“This has been our fourth year to the Canadian Masters, we were in the final about three or four years ago. We didn’t manage to pull off a victory then, but at the Masters level winning isn’t that important,” said Westcott. “Naturally when you’re on the ice you want to win, but it’s more the concept of Masters, 60-and-over guys still playing.

“It’s the sportsmanship, it’s the lasting friends that you meet from across the country.

“This Canadian Masters is so special so I’m really proud to have won it this year.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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