It’s been nothing but practice, practice, practice for Shawn Adams and his Mayflower rink for the past two months.
Adams, third Paul Flemming, second Craig Burgess and lead Kelly Mittelstadt have had limited opportunities to curl competitively since mid-February, when they suffered a disappointing loss to Brian Rafuse in the Tankard provincial final.
They’re hoping to shake off the rust quickly at the Tylenol Players’ Championship starting Thursday in St. John’s, N.L.
“Game-shape wise, it might take us a game or two to get back into it,” Adams said. “But we’re also going to be fresh. We’re all well-rested so hopefully we’ll be ready to go.”
Adams hoped to make it to the Brier, but the loss to Rafuse marked his second straight setback in the provincial final. He called that “a little bit of a failure,” but added that this has been one of his rink’s most financially lucrative seasons yet.
The three-time Tankard champ has already pocketed $41,000 on the World Curling Tour and sits 10th in overall earnings after winning the Don Bartlett Classic in October and finishing runner-up in the BDO Canadian Open in December.
“Overall, it was a fairly successful year with just the little blemish of not making it back to the Brier,” Adams said.
The $41,000 is a handsome sum they’d like to add to at the Players’ Championship. Also up for grabs are qualifying points for next year’s Tour and the Olympic curling trials.
This weekend’s star-studded features a handful of world champions, including Kevin Martin, as the Tour’s season comes to a close. Adams said a top-eight finish is the goal.
“For us to get into the first couple of slams next year, we need to get some more points this week,” Adams said. “We feel it’s quite an accomplishment for a team from the east to qualify for all four World Curling Tour events and the Players’ Championship. If we could go and do well it would cap a successful season.”