PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - Kevin Koe scored three points in the final end to remain unbeaten at the $100,000 National Grand Slam of Curling with a 7-4 win over Rob Rumfeldt on Thursday.
Rumfeldt and his rink from Guelph, Ont., had built a 3-1 lead after five ends, but Edmonton's Koe pulled ahead with three in the sixth.
Rumfeldt tied it with a point in the seventh. Koe, wielding the hammer in the decisive end, put the game away and improved to 2-0 after three draws. He is tied with fellow Edmonton skip Kevin Martin atop Pool C.
Rob Fowler of Brandon, Man., also improved to 2-0 with a 9-3 win over Toronto's John Epping. Fowler put the game away with four points in the fifth end.
Fowler kept pace atop Group A with Sweden's Niklas Edin, who cruised to a 6-1 win over Toronto's Greg Balsdon.
In other Draw 3 action, Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L., beat Saskatoon's Steve Laycock 7-4 and Switzerland's Sven Michel downed reigning world champion Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., 8-4.
Howard fell to 0-2 and found himself in a hole in his battle with Koe for the overall Grand Slam title.
Rogers Sportsnet offered a $1-million bonus this season for any team that managed to win all four events of the Grand Slam but when Koe won the first and Howard the second, that bonus, to be split between the top three teams, dropped to $100,000.
If either Howard or Koe wins the National, it would help cement their claim to first-place Grand Slam bonus money of $50,000, with the only potential threat coming from the other at the Players' Championship, the final Grand Slam event of the season.
Draws 4 and 5 were scheduled for later Thursday.