Corner not ready to ice his career

STEVE GREEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

WOODSTOCK -- After 30 years in the game, a lot of it spent at or near the summit, Peter Corner had had enough of curling.

Yet here he is, playing in his 15th Ontario men's curling championship. He's 1-1 at the TSC Tankard after the first day yesterday.

Corner rallied from 7-1 down before falling 9-7 to Jake Higgs of Harriston in last night's second draw, with Higgs stealing his first three points and adding a three-spot in the fourth en route to improving to 2-0.

Corner opened with an 8-3 win over Chris Gardner of Arnprior.

All it took for Corner to come back was a phone call.

"I'd retired," said Corner, 40, a Halton Regional Police sergeant whose second daughter was born a week ago yesterday, another incentive to hang up his slider.

"I was really tired with the game, tired of competitive curling with all the travel and not getting a summer vacation. I wasn't getting the same feeling out of the game and decided to step back.

"But a mutual friend of mine and (second) Ian (Tetley) talked to me over the summer and said, 'You two should get together.' We talked it over and it went from there."

With Tetley and third Graeme McCarrel moving over from longtime skip Wayne Middaugh, the rink has some of the best championship experience in the tournament, but they had only played about a dozen games coming in.

"The biggest adjustment is time," Corner said. "I'm not as sharp calling the game. When you're curling a lot, when their shot stops, your shot is almost automatic. Here, we're having a lot of discussions about simple situations."

Three-time defending champion Glenn Howard of Coldwater, a former teammate with whom Corner won a world title in 1993 with Glenn's brother Russ, is also 2-0. He defeated Peter Steski of Sarnia 7-2 in the first draw and followed with another easy 7-2 win over 2003 champion Bryan Cochrane of Ottawa Rideau.

"There's only one favourite here and everyone knows who he is," Corner said of Howard. "But there's no reason we can't do well. I'm here to win and go to the Brier."

Rob Lobel of Whitby and Joe Frans of Oshawa are also 2-0, 2004 champ and 1998 Olympic silver medallist Mike Harris of Toronto Donalda is also 1-1 and Garnder, Steski, Cochrane and Rick Thurston of Dundas Granite are all 0-2.

In the other second-draw games, Frans beat Thurston 7-5, Harris edged Gardner 5-4 and Lobel stole four in the eighth and added four in the 10th to beat Steski 12-8.

In the other first-draw games, Lobel stole his first three points to beat Thurston 7-4, Higgs stole seven points in a 10-4 win over Harris and Frans scored deuces in the second and fourth and stole two in the seventh to beat Cochrane 8-5.


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