Lucky miss clinches win

Skip Glenn Howard calls in a rock during the BDO Classic in Winnipeg on Sunday. (Sun Media/Brian...

Skip Glenn Howard calls in a rock during the BDO Classic in Winnipeg on Sunday. (Sun Media/Brian Donogh)

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Sometimes a miss can be even more rewarding than a called shot.

Glenn Howard accidentally completed a thin double take-out in the seventh end of the Canadian Open final at the MTS Centre yesterday to turn a nail-biting game with Kevin Martin into handshake time.

Just as Martin was positioned to steal one to tie the game going into the final end, Howard turned near-disaster into three counters to complete an 8-4 victory.

'Good last blow'

"I was a little fortunate obviously -- I was only a quarter of an inch from making what I tried to play," said Howard, whose Coldwater, Ont., rink pockets $24,000 and 36 Canadian Team Ranking System points.

"I tried to miss the top one and get the back one. I did not try to make that double. But it was nice."

Nice for Howard. For Martin, not so much.

"You know what, he was happy to get rid of either one and come home tied up with hammer," said Martin, who finished the event 7-1 and collects $17,500 and 27 CTRS points. "That was kind of a good last blow. Nobody would call that because the risk of a steal of two is there. That's the way it goes. Tied coming home would have been interesting, which is what I thought was going to happen because the odds of that double were pretty minute. That would have been a good finish.

"They definitely played better than us -- a couple of shots better. That's the key to the day."

Howard had an up-and-down round robin, but turned things around by crushing Wayne Middaugh in the last draw on Friday to finish 3-2 and qualify for the playoffs.

Looking back, the match-up with Middaugh was clearly the turning point for Howard.

"I personally played very poorly against (Kerry) Burtnyk (in the round robin), it was one of the worst games I've played this year and that upset me," said Howard. "I was really frustrated. I don't know what it was. Then I came out against Wayne and I don't think I missed.

"That was huge for me, just to get the confidence back. It doesn't take much."

When the playoffs began, Howard ousted Manitoban's Burtnyk and Jeff Stoughton before finishing the week in style against Martin, the reigning world men's champion.

"Kevin has notoriously been one of the best teams in the world forever, so when you play against a team like that and you beat them, you feel pretty good," said Howard. "You love to play against Kevin, he doesn't lose many games. The guys go through a whole year with only losing a handful of games, so when you beat him, you're doing something special."

Howard has now won each of the four Grand Slam of Curling events (Masters of Curling three times, The National twice, The Players Championship once and the BDO Canadian Open once).

"I'm pretty proud of that, to be honest with you," said Howard. "To win any slam, when you have 16 of the best teams in the world, is pretty special.

"To win every one of them is like the Tiger slam. It feels cool. I'm really pleased about it."

BITERS: The total attendance for the event was 40,112. Ron Trottier of Osoyoos, B.C. brought a hush over the crowd when his draw in the One Million Dollar Button contest slid over the pin and came to rest at the back of the eight-foot. Trottier earned $10,000 for his efforts.


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