Several of the pre-event favourites will have to come out of the lower draws if they hope to capture the Red Deer Curling Classic.
Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton and Sean Geall of Kelowna qualified out of the A event on the men’s side while Ursi Hegner of Switzerland and Hanna Fleming of Scotland grabbed the two A berths on the women’s side.
Bottcher opened his run on Friday by defeating Roland Robinson of Edmonton 8-1 and Jason Ackerman of Regina 6-3. He then disposed of Thomas Scoffin of Edmonton 5-3 and stopped Kyle Smith of Scotland 7-6 on Saturday.
Geall won his qualifier with a 6-4 win over previous world champion David Murdoch of Scotland. Earlier Geall downed Jason Jacobson of Saskatoon 5-3, Kevin Koe of Calgary 4-2 and Jamie King of Edmonton 5-4.
Jamie Koe of Yellowknife, with Red Deer’s Chris Schille at third, defeated Robinson 9-0 and Kevin Yablonski of Calgary 7-1 in B action before losing 8-6 to Ted Appelman of Edmonton.
Hegner won her qualifier by defeating Holly Baird of Edmonton 6-4 and Sherry Anderson of Delisle, Sask., 10-2 on Friday and stopping Nancy Martin of Saskatoon 7-1 and Shannon Kleibrink of Okotoks 7-4 on Saturday.
Fleming downed Gerry Lynn Ramsay of Calgary 8-1 in the qualifier final. Earlier she defeated Min Ji Kim of Korea 4-3 and Ayumi Ogasawara of Japan 8-0.
Ramsay, who has Red Deer’s Brittney Tran at second defeated Kalynn Virtue of Lethbridge 7-3 in the qualifying semifinal.
Defending Canadian champion Chelsea Carey of Calgary, who has Jocelyn Peterman at second, lost her B event game 8-1 to Anderson before finally getting on the winning side with an 11-4 win over Jodi Marthaller of Lethbridge in C event play.
Two qualifiers out of the A and B events and four from the C advance to Monday’s playoffs in both the men and women.