MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Canadian champion Kevin Martin of Edmonton opened the World Cup of Curling with a bang Wednesday, trouncing Niklas Edin of Sweden 9-1.
Martin, lead Ben Hebert, second Marc Kennedy and third John Morris had little trouble with Edin’s Karlstad-based rink, scoring twice with the hammer in the first and stealing six more points over the next two ends.
The first steal came on a failed Edin draw, resulting in three points for Martin.
“We got a good deuce in the first end,” said Martin, the 2008 world champion. “But then (Edin) missed that draw to the four-foot in the second. And you can’t miss those shots.”
The teams exchanged single points in the fifth and sixth ends before Edin opted to shake hands.
Edin, playing in his first Grand Slam of Curling event, struggled to adapt to the world-class ice conditions.
“You have to adjust because it’s different here,” added Martin. “You have to come to a few Slams before you get used to it. The ice is unique. It’s the best ice in the world. It’s like super, super fast golf greens. There’s so much curl, that until you get used to it, it’s difficult.”
Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., also opened strong, beating Germany’s Andy Kapp 9-5. Howard seized control of his match with Kapp in the sixth end, playing a tap back to score five points and take a 9-3 lead.
“He kind of left me a bit of opening on my last shot in the sixth” said Howard. “I made a nice little (shot) and tapped it back, got five and that was pretty much the game.”
In other opening-draw matches, American John Shuster edged Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 4-3, Randy Ferbey of Edmonton doubled Fengchun Wang of China 4-2 and Edmonton’s Kevin Koe beat Thomas Dufour of France 7-4.