Krista Scharf reeled off five-straight wins to claim the top berth after round-robin play at the 25th-annual Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts here.
Sitting at 2-2 after four draws, Scharf, representing the Fort William Curling Club, completed her streak with a 9-2 romp over Janet McGhee (Uxbridge and District) yesterday afternoon.
“It was our goal to get here,” said Scharf. “I was personally struggling earlier in the week, but we’re playing better now. We need to keep calm and cool.
“We were feeling tense and tight, but we had a team meeting and we’re feeling much better,” she added.
A little support for Scharf is on the way—her boyfriend will join her here today.
“Support always helps, but it’s actually a little nerve-racking when people are watching you,” she admitted.
Although both rinks finished with 7-2 records, Scharf was awarded top spot by virtue of having beaten McGhee in the round-robin.
McGhee had been cruising undefeated (7-0) before losing her final two draws yesterday to slip into second place.
Both teams will square off again tonight at 7:30 in the #1 vs. #2 game under the Page playoff system.
The winner advances to the final tomorrow night at 7:30, with the loser going to the semi-final game tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. against the winner of the #3 vs. #4 game.
That game, which went this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (the outcome wasn’t known before press time), featured a rematch between two-time world champ Marilyn Bodogh and defending provincial champ Jenn Hanna.
The winner advanced to the semi-final tomorrow while the loser was eliminated.
Bodogh, from the St. Catharines Curling Club, vaulted into the third playoff spot with an easy 10-3 win over Hanna (Ottawa Curling Club) in the final draw of the round-robin yesterday afternoon.
The game basically was over by the third end after Bodogh scored five in the second and then stole three more in the third.
Had Bodogh lost that game, there would have been a three-way tie for fourth at 5-4, which would have involved tie-breakers with Jo-Anne Rizzo (Brant Curling Club) and Chrissy Cadorin (Guelph Curling Club).
But as it turned out, no tie-breakers were needed—and both first-round playoff games today were re-matches of the final draw pairings.
Bodogh had to overcome an 0-2 start Monday—and a bad cold—to make the playoffs.
“I’m still feeling pretty rough,” Bodogh said after yesterday afternoon’s final round-robin draw. “You make your mistakes at the beginning of the week and you peak, peak, peak.
“The girls I’m playing with are going to be world champions one day and I’m so honoured that I have a crack at it,” she added.
After recognizing her mistakes earlier in the week, Bodogh realized the severity of the competition. “Every game is do-or-die,” she stressed.
With all the pressure after winning last year’s provincial title, Hanna has a different outlook this time around.
“This isn’t last year. We’re a different team this year,” she said. “I guess we’re in the [playoffs] and that’s where you want to be regardless.”