Stoughton squeaks past Howard

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

LLOYDMINSTER -- Jeff Stoughton has cut back on his World Curling Tour appearances these days.

Yesterday, the two-time world champ out of Winnipeg made the most of his chance.

Stoughton edged reigning world champ Glenn Howard 6-5 to win his first Wayside Inn Classic title and picked up a cool $22,000 for his efforts.

Stoughton lost just one game this weekend, to Kevin Martin in Saturday's A Event qualifier, and has now moved to No. 4 on the WCT money list with $36,000 in earnings.

If there's any kind of side satisfaction Stoughton got out of this win, you'd have to go back to the Brier last year when Howard beat Stoughton in the semi and parlayed that into a world title.

"We owed him one," said Stoughton. "It's nice to beat him here. We'll see if we can get back with them to the Brier. It would be a lot of fun."

Stoughton has qualified in all four spiels he's played, finally hitting the winner's circle for the first time this season. The closest Stoughton has previously come to winning this event was back in 1997 when he lost the final.

"It's great to come back here from our semifinal loss last year and finish it off this year," said Stoughton.

"We hung in there and the guys pulled it off. The ice is a bit tough here because it's pretty straight, so you're going to see a few misses here and there. You sort of have to accept you can't play a perfect game. You take what you can get.

"The team has played really well all year. We've just not quite finished it off. This is a nice bonspiel to finish it off."

Howard earned $15,000 runner-up money and moved into third place on the WCT list. Randy Ferbey, who failed to qualify this weekend, now sits at No. 5.

Howard should be able to hold onto his ranking as the nation's top CTRS team.

"It went down to the last shot, came down to the last draw and Jeff made the shot, as usual," said Howard, the event's defending champion.


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