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Jones beats former teammate Lawes to capture Tour Challenge; Retornaz tops Bottcher in men's final

Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones - The Canadian Press

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Jennifer Jones defeated Kaitlyn Lawes 7-4 on Sunday to win the HearingLife Tour Challenge for her 10th career Grand Slam of Curling title.

Jones, from Springwater, Ont., ran Lawes out of rocks in the eighth end for the victory. It was the first Slam title for Jones third Karlee Burgess, second Emily Zacharias and lead Lauren Lenentine.

"To have it happen so early (in the season) and just to be a part of their first Slam win (was special)," Jones said.

"They're going to have a long career after I'm done and just to know that I was part of something with them is pretty special for all of us."

Italy's Joel Retornaz posted a 4-3 win over Brendan Bottcher of Spruce Grove, Alta., in the men's final later in the day at the Gale Centre.

Retornaz made a double-takeout in an extra end for his second career Grand Slam crown.

"This is what we're looking for: these type of games and to win titles like this," Retornaz said.

Lawes, from Winnipeg, opened with a single but Jones responded with three points in the second end and stole a point in the third.

Lawes made a draw for a deuce in the fourth end to make it a one-point game but she nosed a hit-and-roll attempt with her final throw in the fifth. Jones took advantage by making a runback for a pair.

The teams exchanged singles before Jones made a hit in the eighth and final end for the victory.

"At this level, it's just one shot here or there," Jones said. "We're just trying to make as many shots as we can."

In the men's final, Bottcher made a soft tapback for a deuce in the eighth end to force the extra end. Retornaz could have drawn the four-foot ring for the victory but elected to go for the takeout instead.

"I know I make those takeouts nine times out of 10 or even more," Retornaz said. "So I had no doubt that I had to play the takeout. It was well-executed and it gave us the win."

Lawes was a longtime vice for Jones before moving to the skip position with a new team for this quadrennial. Jones and Lawes won Olympic gold together at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Jones beat Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni in the quarterfinal and Sweden's Anna Hasselborg in the semifinal at the Gale Centre. Jones said she's proud of her teammates' determination against tough opponents.

"It's amazing to me how they play their best games in the biggest games," she said. "It's a special quality to have."

South Korea's EunJung Kim beat Denmark's Madeleine Dupont 7-4 in the Tier 2 women's final. American Daniel Casper defeated Japan's Yusuke Morozumi 6-2 for the Tier 2 men's crown.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2023.