Movin' on up

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:26 AM ET

On this season's curling calendar, November is moving month.

And with a huge amount of cash up for grabs, Kevin Martin has moved up to the top.

The inaugural $70,000 Cactus Pheasant Classic in Brooks over the weekend, the $75,000 Wayside Inn Classic in Lloydminster starting this week and the first $100,000 BDO Canadian Open, the season's first Grand Slam event in Quebec City later this month means it's going to be a wild November.

Martin won his second straight speil over the weekend at Brooks, beating Wayne Middaugh 7-5 and taking home $22,000.

That put his rink on top of the World Curling Tour money leaders list with $46,000 as Edmonton-based teams reclaimed their 1-2-3 rankings among money winners.

Martin moved past Kevin Koe, who qualified at Brooks, but was beaten by No. 3 Randy Ferbey. Martin then beat Ferbey for the second time in three weeks to get into the final.

Martin is looking to make it three in a row at Lloydminster. If he can overcome his personal history at Lloyd, Martin would be well on his way to entrenching his status as the world's No. 1 cashspiel team.

In all the years he's played at Lloyd, Martin has never won the event.

And, with Glenn Howard back in the mix after taking this past weekend off, Lloyd is shaping up to be a tough challenge.

Howard is the defending champion at Lloyd and he's just as hot as Martin, having won his last two cashspiel appearances - three weeks ago in Basel, Switzerland, and two weekends ago in Portage la Prairie.

Add the fact that the field in Lloydminster will include many teams vying for one of the two Alberta Tour spots should make it an interesting weekend with plenty at stake.

EDMONTONIANS FIZZLE: KURT BALDERSTON OF SEXSMITH GAVE NOTICE HE'S NOT ABOUT TO CONCEDE THE ALBERTA TOUR SPOTS JUST YET.

Balderston picked up a maximum 20 points with his win over Red Deer's Rob Armitage, who got 14 runner-up points.

Edmonton's Jamie King and Shane Park made it to the semis, claiming nine points, while Jeff Erickson and Wade White picked up five points each for qualifying.

The top two in the Alberta Tour get a bye into the 2008 provincial championships in Spruce Grove.

ALBERTA GALS TOUGH: WINNIPEG'S JENNIFER JONES HAS CONTINUED HER EARLY- SEASON DOMINANCE.

Edmonton-based Kristie Moore, with Heather Nedohin throwing last rocks, dropped an 8-4 decision to Jones in the final of the Red Deer Curling Classic this weekend.

Since Red Deer was a stop in the first-year women's Alberta Tour, Moore picked up a valuable 14 points in the race for a bye to the 2008 provincials at Wainwright.

The 2008 provincials has expanded to a 12-team format with defending champion Cheryl Bernard and CTRS points leader Shannon Kleibrink, both of Calgary, already qualified.

There's a twist for the other two byes, though, on the gal's side. Only one team on the Alberta Tour goes straight to the provincial and the other spot will go to the highest-rated CTRS team as of Dec. 4.

As of today, Edmonton's Cathy King and Heather Rankin are tied for that spot, fourth on the CTRS list behind Jones, Kleibrink and Bernard.

There's only one women's team outside of Western Canada ranked in the top 10.


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