Something is missing

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

She just punctuated one of the most lucrative seasons a Canadian women's team has ever boasted. Yet, Manitoba's Jennifer Jones is still one major victory way from getting a direct ride into the 2009 Canadian Curling Trials.

Jones stole two in an extra end to beat B.C.'s Kelly Scott 8-6 in the final of the World Curling Tour's Players' Championship in Calgary late Saturday night.

Jones, who defended her title, earned $26,000 to give her $70,000-plus on the season, believed to be the most a women's team has ever won without adding Skins' Game cash. Jones, who also won the Canada Cup, will finish the year as the CTRS points leader. But that still is not enough to earn a direct ticket to the trials.

"But we're still in a pretty good spot," Jones said after returning home yesterday. "We just have to win another major event."

Or lead the CTRS points standings again.

But the head-scratcher is that the Canadian Curling Association decided just last month to add a world championship to the list of major events being considered as a trials qualifier, meaning that both Scott and Ontario's Glenn Howard could have earned direct routes by winning the Players' Championship.

"They just changed that during the men's worlds and we can't control that," said Jones, supported by third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and new lead Dawn Askin.

Jones, meanwhile, finally overcame the Scott jinx as she had kept losing to her in previous major events.

LOST TWICE

"Everybody talks about that but I don't know where that came from," said Jones, who shot only 57% against Scott. "I think we only lost to them twice this year (both at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts).

"But we've had a great year. We just had the one bad game at the Scotties (semifinal loss to Scott). And we've played well at the last two spiels in a row (including Canada Cup). It is a great way to finish off the year and we've got a lot of momentum going into next year now. Hopefully, we can carry that forward to 2009."

On the men's side, Kevin Martin defeated fellow Albertan Kevin Koe 6-4 to win his fifth Players' Championship, as well as $26,000, in Calgary yesterday. Martin will also be the runaway winner in the CTRS points race.

"That really puts us in good shape," Martin told the Canadian Press.

Koe settled for $15,000 and a berth into the Olympic trials qualifying tourney, joining Martin, Howard and Alberta's Randy Ferbey. Jones and Scott will be joined there by the third and fourth-place finishers in the CTRS standings.


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