One-two punch likes to rock

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:23 AM ET

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, indeed! Playing the role of Santa on Wednesday morning was Kevin Martin.

Saying ho, ho, ho and laughing all the way to the bank was Randy Ferbey.

As a result, the Edmonton-based skips now sit No. 1 and No. 2 on the curling money-winnings list this season.

Over the past several years, the intensity of the personal relationship between the Edmonton-based skips has ranged from downright ugly to merely hostile.

In the spirit of the season, Martin apparently put the feelings aside and presented Ferbey with a gift at the M&M Skins semifinal in Waterloo, Ont. Hmmmm.

OK, Martin has been known to allow his opposition to steal in a Skins game so he can maintain hammer in the last end. True to form, he followed that script again.

THANKS FOR COMING

Being a cagey veteran, Ferbey took advantage of a brutal track on the left side of the sheet and forced Martin to toss an in-turn draw for the win. Oops! Thanks for coming.

Into the final. Ferbey's last rock Dave Nedohin drew the button in the shootout against Wayne Middaugh, reclaiming an event title the five-time Brier champ last won in 2002.

The $40,300 for two days' work should help buy a few pints when the lads head off to Perth, Scotland, next weekend.

Martin, the acknowledged world's Skins game master, had to be satisfied with $8,750.

"It's not a gamble to have last rock the last two ends,'' said Martin, who pocketed an event record $100,500 for his win in the TSN Skins earlier this season. "I think that's the first time I've passed the skin off and not won the game.''

First time for everything and, hey, ice conditions are always a factor that could nudge anybody off a preconceived strategy.

Still, how can you argue against a guy who's on the verge of becoming the first curler to have a pair of $200,000 seasons?

Martin is this season's undisputed king of cash among the rock-toss set.

We're not talkin' about the closed-shop World Curling Tour money-leaders list, which charges an exorbitant fee to sanction events and compile a list, a job a trained chimp could do.

No, the only credible list out there is the Gold Trail, compiled by George Karrys, the only journalist ever to win an Olympic medal. Karrys played front end for 1998 silver medallist Mike Harris and parlayed his notoriety into a cameo appearance in the cult movie Men With Brooms.

Karrys is no trained chimp.

MONEY EARNED IS MONEY EARNED

His list recognizes the fact that money earned is money earned. As far as anybody has been able to ascertain, winning cash in a skins game is perfectly legal in this country.

So far this year, Martin has earned $194,500.

Ferbey comes in second at $115,500.

Glenn Howard, the Trojan Warrior, is third at $102,151.

That's Gold Trail earnings.

The WCT list ranks the top three as: Martin $85,250; Howard $72,651 and Ferbey $68,500.

Figure out for yourself which is the most accurate, despite the malarkey that skins isn't real curling and golf doesn't count skins games in its official earnings list.

Who cares? A buck is a buck and the World Curling Tour is not doing itself any favours by putting out a half-baked list.

And a Happy New Year to you, too!


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