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European champions Team Mouat, who are the top ranked team in the Mercure City of Perth Masters event this week, have qualified for the knock-out stages of the World Curling Tour event.

Mouat’s route to the business end of the first Tour event of the year was though made more arduous, after he lost out to fellow Scot, Ross Whyte this morning, the man he had called upon to be his travelling reserve for his recent gold medal winning European campaign.

20 year old Whyte, who hails from Stirling, one of the younger skips in the line-up this week, had credited much of his success from learning from the man he beat 6-4 to qualify through the A route in the triple knock-out format.

Mouat was however gracious about losing out to his younger compatriot and alternate, stating: “Ross Whyte has always been a class player so we can’t say we have added much to that.

“It is always disappointing losing out to a younger team even though we are a young team too, but it just shows that there is a lot of talent in Scotland right now. But this also makes us work harder, we are trying to be the best team in Scotland and the aim is to keep your nose ahead of the rest and try and prove your position against the other teams biting at your heels.”

Whyte, who skipped a team to a World Junior silver medal in 2018 was delighted to have won the game to qualify for the quarter finals, despite his success meaning defeat for a team he is now so familiar with.

“It was a bit weird after supporting the team for a whole two weeks at the Euros, in that situation you get to know all the team members a lot better, however it is nice to play against them once in a while,” said Whyte.

“Team Mouat have been doing very well over the last year, so every time you are up against these boys, as much as they are young, they are very experienced. We know they are very good at getting two’s early on in games, so we went a wee bit aggressive to try and make them play some tough shots and thankfully that set us up in a good way.

“We feel that we are doing everything right to give ourselves the chance to win each game and having qualified through the A route means we are keeping ourselves fresh for the quarters tomorrow morning.”

Mouat’s men responded to the surprise defeat by bouncing back to beat Norway’s Team Walstad 7-5 before claiming their qualifying win against a fellow British Curling rink, Team Glen Muirhead 7-6, to qualify through the B route.

Following that result, Muirhead’s 2018 Olympians beat Robin Brydone’s rink 8-1 before qualifying through the C route after beating Norway’s Steffen Mellemseter 5-0.

Earlier in the day, Boost National Grand Slam Champions Ross Paterson’s side qualified through the A route after beating Switzerland’s Olympic bronze medallists, Team de Cruz, 4-3. The Swiss side, finalists in this event last year, eventually made it through the B route after they defeated Team Sik from the Czech Republic 7-6, before beating a fellow Swiss team skipped by Yannick Schwaller, 6-5.

The prize pot for the event is £18,700 with a first prize of £7,200.

Coverage from the quarter finals, semi finals and final is being screened on BBC ALBA and on the BBC iPlayer tomorrow. In addition, the event is being supported by the World Curling Federation who will be providing live webcasts from Perth.

The BBC ALBA live coverage and World Curling Federation live webcasts are as follows:

Sunday 6th January

09:00 - Quarter Finals

12:00 - Semi Finals

15:00 - Final

Please click here for further information from the 2019 Mercure City of Perth Masters 

Or follow the link to the 2019 Mercure City of Perth Masters Twitter @PerthMasters

Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart. 

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