‘ALL STAR’ LAMMIE RECKONS YOUNG SCOTS HAVE PROVED THEY ARE AMONG WORLD’S BEST
Bobbie Lammie’s week-long excellence has won him a place on the ‘All-Star select team’ at the 361° World Championship in Las Vegas to go with a bronze medal, but the 21-year-old was still frustrated that he and his Scotland team-mates missed out on their main goal of winning the event.
Young enough that he could have played in this year’s World Junior Championships, Lammie’s statistics showed that he was the outstanding second at the competition and their lead, Hammy McMillan, just missed out on joining him by 0.2 per cent.
However with third Grant Hardie and skip Bruce Mouat also producing an array of brilliant shots in the course of the tournament, they recovered from their disappointment following the semi-final, to thrash Korea 11-4 in the bronze medal decider, ending their campaign with a total of 12 wins in 14 matches, a record bettered only by gold medallists Sweden.
“I’m obviously delighted with how we performed but the goal this week was to win,” said Lammie.
“The All Star inclusion was a bonus and a nice add on to the week and we are happy to come away with a medal.”
Having already become the first Scottish men to win a Grand Slam event, while Mouat was the youngest male skip to do so, their performance has strengthened their belief that they have no-one to fear as they head across the North American border for two more high profile events.
“It is pretty special to be included among those players but I think we all know we are up there with those teams now and we can definitely compete alongside them,” said Lammie.
“Maybe a few underestimated us coming into this event this week. We came here to win but we are happy to come away with a medal. We now head to the GSOC Players Championships (Toronto – 10-15 April) and GSOC Champions Cup (Calgary -24-29 April) where it will be a bit more relaxed than this week but we will still be looking to put in good performances and will be angling for those wins.”
Proud as they were of winning Scotland’s first medal in five years at a men’s World Championships, there was particular frustration that their sole poor performance came against the Canadian defending champions whom they had previously beaten and who would go on to lose heavily to world number one Team Edin from Sweden in the final.
“We wanted to play against Canada like we did in the bronze game,” said skip Bruce Mouat, following the defeat of Korea which was so comprehensive that both teams entertained the audience in the 8000-seater Orleans Arena with trick shots in the compulsory eighth end.
“Who knows what would have happened if we had performed like that. So it is a wee bit bittersweet but we are still proud to come away with a medal. We really stuck together after a tough loss,” he continued.
Having skipped teams to victory at the 2016 World Junior Championships and 2017 World University Games, as well as forming a mixed doubles partnership with Gina Aitken that saw them reach the semi-finals of last season’s World Championships, Mouat’s rise in the sport had already been impressive. However it accelerated after his new line-up was put together following last year’s defeat by veteran David Murdoch’s rink in the Scottish Championship final, as he and Lammie were joined by Hardie and McMillan.
Now part of British Curling’s coaching set-up, Murdoch was part of Mouat’s backroom team in Las Vegas, working alongside team coach Alan Hannah and the young skip said the help of the two-time world champion had been invaluable.
“We had advice from David Murdoch ahead of this Champs and he told us what a long week it is. We obviously listened to that and as he said it was a really long and tiring week, however it has been an incredibly rewarding one and I think we have learnt such a lot and will really grow from this experience,” said Mouat.
“Las Vegas has been amazing, it is a cool arena and facility for a world championships and the weather has been great so we were able to relax in between sessions. I am immensely proud of the team and how they have played all week.”
Murdoch in turn paid tribute to a quartet who are part of an exciting up and coming generation of Scottish curlers.
“It has been an absolute pleasure watching these guys all week,” he said.
“They have been professional throughout, clinical at times and everything they have done has been geared towards getting this medal.
“They deserve all the plaudits for it, well deserved and a stepping stone to what they can go on to in the future, so full credit to them for putting in a great season’s work and being duly rewarded for it.”
Ross Paterson (alternate)
Coach Alan Hannah
Head Coach David Murdoch
Please click here for more information on the 361° World Men’s Curling Championships (31 March – 8 April)
Saturday 31 March
Scotland v Canada 8-7
Sunday 1 April
Scotland v Italy 6-4
Scotland v Sweden 6-7
Monday 2 April
Scotland v USA 7-6 (EE)
Tuesday 3 April
Scotland v Germany 9-4
Scotland v Netherlands 8-3
Wednesday 4 April
Scotland v Korea 7-2
Scotland v Japan 9-2
Thursday 5 April
Scotland v Norway 8-6
Scotland v Russia 7-2
Friday 6 April
Scotland v Switzerland 8-6
Scotland v China 9-4
Saturday 7 April
Qualification Games (3 v 6 and 4 v 5)
Semi Final 1 Sweden v Korea 9-8
Semi Final 2 Scotland v Canada 5-9
Sunday 8 April
Bronze Medal Game Scotland v Korea 11-4
Gold Medal Game Sweden v Canada 7-3
Photos: WCF /Richard Gray / Steve Seixeiro