MCT avoids sked conflict

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

The Manitoba Curling Tour has moved its championships back to January to avoid conflicting with the Canada Cup qualifying bonspiels again this season.

The men's and women's championships will be held in Portage la Prairie, Jan. 4-6, 2008, MCT event co-ordinator Bob Picken announced yesterday.

Because the championships were held at the same time as those spiels last year, such teams as Beausejour's Reid Carruthers and St. Vital's Jennifer Jones, among others, could not compete in them. The move will also appease organizers of the Labatt Fort Rouge Christmas Spiel because its event was held after the MCT championships. The winner of last year's Fort Rouge cashspiel will still get entry into this year's championships.

And, as the Sun previously reported, the highest-ranking eligible men's team in the men's MCT championship will earn a berth into the men's provincials.

The MCT is embarking on its 17th season with 17 events offering a total prize purse of $431,460 and it has created a new website: www.mancurltour.ca. First up is the McMillan Insurance Classic in Selkirk, Sept. 28-Oct. 1. That will be followed by the Asham 8-Ender Open at the Thistle Curling Club, which has taken over from Asham Arena/Valour Road, on Thanksgiving Weekend.

The prestigious Casinos of Winnipeg Classic -- a women's Grand Slam event -- will be held at the Fort Rouge Curling Club, Oct. 19-22.

SURVIVED THE CUT

Matt Johnston has some work left to do, but at least he survived the cut.

Johnston, who plays out of St. Charles, followed up an opening round of 75 with a 4-over 76 to leave him tied for 55th at the midway point of the Canadian Tour's Fall Qualifying School at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Ashburn, Ont.

The low 90 players (93) and ties in the 131-player field advanced to the final two rounds.

The Top-15 players after tomorrow's final round receive fully exempt status for the 2008 Canadian Tour season, while the next 10 players get conditional status.


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