Great Britain’s David Murdoch took advantage of a poor shooting performance by Team Germany on Monday, winning 8-2 to improve his record to 5-3 in the men’s curling round robin play at the Vancouver Olympics.
The win moved Murdoch into a tie for third place with Switzerland in the overall standings with one more game to play. Another win will ensure Murdoch reaches the semifinals, where only the top four teams in the round robin advance.
He can only hope his next match will be as easy as this one turned out to be.
German skip Andy Kapp could not find his range in what was a crucial match for Germany as well. A win would have given the nation a 5-4 record, good enough to tie for fourth and clinch a tiebreaker. Instead, the loss eliminated Germany from the playoffs.
Kapp had trouble finding the proper weight all game long, shooting only 56 per cent on his draw shots. His struggles allowed Britain to jump out to an early lead and dictate the flow of the game.
After scoring once in the first end, Murdoch watched as Kapp failed to draw to the button in the third for a steal of one.
In the very next end, Kapp’s draw weight struggles came to light. Shooting with the hammer, the German skip had a wide open house to draw to for his point as Murdoch only had two stones on the fringes of the outer ring. Instead of settling on the easy point, his rock did not even come within four feet of the house, giving Murdoch a steal of two and an early 4-0 lead.
More misses by Kapp and his teammates throughout the match, on top of the 94 per cent shooting Murdoch had on the night, ultimately resulted in Germany conceding victory in the eight end, after Great Britain scored two for an insurmountable six shot lead.
Murdoch’s final match of the tournament will be against second-place Norway, who have already clinched a playoff berth.
China finishes strong to take down the United States
The two worst teams in the tournament came to play for pride, and it was China who came away with its head held high, defeating the U.S. 11-5 in a strong finish.
After going down 3-0 in the first end, United States’ John Shuster stole a point in the sixth end to cut the lead to 5-4 in what appeared to be a match heading for a close finish. China’s Liu Rui had other ideas.
Taking advantage of some misses by their opponent in the next end, Liu wasted no time in loading up the four-foot with his stones behind two American guards. China maintained control in the house and would take another three points before adding four more over the next two ends to dominate the finish.
It was only China’s second win of the Games, while the Americans finished the round robin with a record of 2-7.
France defeat Denmark in extra ends
A close-fought match that saw several momentum swings ended in France’s favour as they defeat Demark 6-5 in the 11th end.
After Denmark’s Johnny Fredericksen tied the game up in the 10th end, France’s Thomas Dufour took advantage of the hammer to calmly win the last point.