Competing at the elite Sun Life/Husky Oil Grand Prix of Curling bonspiel in Thunder Bay last week, Derek Jackson quickly realized the importance of missed shots.
While rinks sometimes can get away with the odd missed shot at local bonspiels, Jackson said even a half-missed shot could very well spell the difference in a game at the higher level.
“Everyone curled really well but it was tough going against rinks who already had played a couple of bonspiels,” said Jackson, whose Fort Frances rink finished with a 2-3 record.
“You don’t always curl against guys like that and you can’t miss a shot—not even a half-shot,” he stressed. “You had to make the whole shot.”
Jackson’s rink, which included Lorne Jackson (third), Dave Hughes (second), and new lead Wayne Beacham (who took over from Dale Jackson), opened action with a 7-4 victory over Don Westphall of Ottawa.
Trailing 2-0 after the first end, Jackson scored one in the third and then stole three in the fourth to build a 4-2 lead. After Westphall sliced the lead to one in the fifth, Jackson scored a pair in the sixth to make it 6-3.
Both teams traded singles in the seventh and eighth ends before blanking the final two.
But Jackson lost his second game 8-5 to Ken Campbell (also from Ottawa), who scored two in the eighth end to snap a 5-5 tie and then stole one in the ninth to seal the win.
That loss relegated Jackson’s rink to the ‘B’-side in the triple-knockout format.
Jackson said missed shots—specifically his own—definitely were the difference in their 8-3 loss to Larry Pineau (Thunder Bay) in their next game.
“Everyone else curled well but I missed some shots against Pineau,” he admitted. “I missed one shot for three and then another for two and that was the difference.”
Jackson did bounce back with an 8-7 win Sunday afternoon over provincial champ Bruce Melville (Thunder Bay), scoring a pair in the ninth, but then lost 8-7 to John Base (Toronto) that night to be eliminated from further play.
Gerald Shymko (Saskatoon) won the $12,000 top prize with a slim 7-6 victory over former world champ Al Hackner (Thunder Bay) in the final Monday afternoon.