Defending champion skip Kevin Martin of Edmonton andreigning world champion Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., highlight the field announced Wednesday for the 2007 BDO Classic Canadian Open in Quebec City.
Four-time world champion Randy Ferbey of Edmonton and Olympic gold-medallist Brad Gushue of St. John's will also compete.
The Top 15 ranked Canadian teams and the Top 2 Quebec-based rinks in the World Curling Tour order of merit standings qualified for the event. The final entry in the 18-team field went to American Todd Birr.
Set to begin Nov. 28, the Canadian Open is the first leg of the men's Grand Slam of Curling— a series of eight elite men's and women'stournaments featuring many of the toprinks in North America.
The Grand Slam events are part of the Canadian Curling Association's qualifying process for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.Based on their performances at the Grand Slams, rinks canearn points toward a berths at the 2009 Canadian Olympic trials.
After the Canadian Open, the Grand Slam series continues with The National in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., beginning Dec. 20, followed by The Masters of Curling and the Players' Championship. All four events will be broadcast by the CBC.
The women's Grand Slamserieskicked offwith Jennifer Jones capturing the Autumn Gold event in Calgary on Oct. 9, and continues with the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic beginning Oct. 19, the Wayden Transportation Classic in Abbotsford, B.C., beginning Nov. 16, and the Sobeys Slam in New Glasgow, N.S. starting Nov. 29.
Along with Martin, Howard, Ferbey Gushue and Birr, the entries for the men's Canadian Open are:
- Kevin Koe (Edmonton).
- Pat Simmons (Davidson, Sask.).
- Jeff Stoughton andKerry Bertnyk (Winnipeg).
- Peter Corner (Brampton, Ont.).
- Joel Jordison (Moose Jaw, Sask.).
- Wayne Middaugh (Toronto).
- Mark Johnson and Brent MacDonald (Edmonton).
- Shawn Adams (Halifax).
- Jim Cotter (Kelowna, B.C.).
- Robert Desjardins (Chicoutimi, Que.).
- Martin Ferland (Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Que.).