ROSS & CO CELEBRATE AN EARLY WHYTE CHRISTMAS
Team Whyte claimed their second title of the season on their first competitive appearance on Scottish ice when they powered past Switzerland’s Team Lottenbach in a one-sided final at the Dumfries Challenger tournament.
Ross Whyte and team-mates Robin Brydone, Duncan McFadzean and Euan Kyle entered the World Curling tournament event full of confidence after reaching the play-off stages at all eight previous tournaments they had contested in what is their first full season on the senior circuit and winning their first men’s title at the Prague Classic last month.
They duly cruised into the knockout stages, winning all four round-robin matches and they were never headed in their quarter-final against Switzerland’s Team Gempeler, claiming a 6-4 victory to set up a meeting with their fellow Scots, Glen Muirhead’s 2018 Olympians.
A two in the second end of that match, followed by steals at each of the next two ends, put them in control, 4-1 up at the halfway stage on their way to another 6-4 win.
Lucien Lottenbach’s men had got the better of another two up and coming Scottish rinks on their way to the final, claiming a 9-6 win over Team Bryce in the quarter-finals and a 6-3 win over Team Gallacher in the semis. However a three at the opening end of the final was the ideal start for Whyte’s rink and they were 6-1 up by halfway this time, going on to wrap up a 6-2 win when their opponents shook hands at the seventh end.
“After winning that title it is going to be a good Christmas now,” said the 21-year-old skip who is currently in his second year at the University of Stirling.
“We had a good start to the tournament and we played really well all weekend and it is nice to have success back in Scotland after getting results in other countries.
“Stepping up to the men’s circuit after having a successful spell at juniors has been really good for us and we have really excelled this season. It is exciting to have made the transition and to be getting consistent results.
“We haven’t really experienced anything quite like this year. It has been a good run and it was great to continue that here and that we got through to the knock out stages again. Our semi final win set us up nicely for the final and we have finished 2019 the way we wanted to.”
Whyte and his rink are already looking forward to their next Tour event at the start of January, where Brydone and McFadzean will hope to capitalise on playing on home ice at the Dewar’s Centre in Perth, in a tournament that will be televised live on BBC ALBA.
“We had a good result last year at the Perth Masters and we are looking forward to going back. It is a great way to start the new year and nice to get the opportunity to see what other Scottish teams are up to ahead of our next big target at the Scottish Championships,” he said.
Images © Graeme Hart