Ottawa’s Homan opens Masters with win over Manitoba’s Fleury

Rachel Homan has kicked off her Masters tournament with a win.

The Ottawa skip opened the round-robin draw of the second event and first major of the Grand Slam of Curling with a 6-2 victory over Tracy Fleury’s rink from team from East St. Paul, Man., on Tuesday.

Homan, who sits third in the Pinty’s Cup standings and five back of leader Anna Hasselborg, took a three-score lead over Fleury through three ends.

Fleury managed to close the gap to 3-2 after singles the fourth and fifth ends, but the three-time national and 2017 world champion responded with two points in the sixth and tacked on another in the seventh.

Homan has won the Masters three times (2012, 2013 and 2015).

In other women’s action, the reigning world junior champion, Kaitlyn Jones of Halifax, upset Silvana Tirinzoni 7-4.

Tirinzoni is second in the points standings and represented Switzerland at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Jones received a sponsor’s exemption as the 15th and final entry into the Masters.

Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa also opened with a 8-3 win over American Jamie Sinclair.

On the men’s side, six-time Masters winner Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., lost to Jamie Murphy of Halifax 6-2.

Reigning Olympic gold medallist John Shuster of the United States also squeaked out an 8-7 victory over Matt Dunstone’s team from Regina with a two-score eighth.

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