Ferbey cashes in

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Not bad for two games' work.

You could almost see the relief on Randy Ferbey's face.

He stood there beside his teammates with a monster $70,000 cheque after winning the TSN Skins Game at the Casino Rama in Ontario yesterday.

Ferbey had beaten arch-rival Kevin Martin in the made-for-TV curling event's semifinal Saturday and followed up with a win over Glenn Howard in yesterday's final.

Heading into the last end, both teams had picked up early $7,000 Skins.

When Howard's last shot, an attempted raise takeout, overcurled and sailed past the steal point, it gave Ferbey his biggest payday of the year.

Ferbey and lead Marcel Rocque had given themselves a gruelling 10-spiels-in-10-weeks schedule that netted the team a bye into next month's Alberta men's championship.

Financially, though, the 2008 portion of this season's schedule was nothing to write home about as it seemed the more they put their foot to the pedal, the slower they went.

They rarely advanced past the quarterfinal and when they did, were bounced out in the semi.

Although Ferbey sat at No. 3 on the World Curling Tour money list behind Martin and Howard, the team only had $60,000 in official earnings to show for its efforts.

One of the reasons Ferbey was so anxious to avoid next weekend's men's northerns at the Ottewell Club was it conflicted with the Grand Slam event in Winnipeg.

Now, Ferbey's team can go into his next event well-rested and with a bit of financial pressure off their shoulders. Even though this weekend's earnings are unofficial, Ferbey's team has now won $130,000 on the year.

The win brings Ferbey's career skins winnings to $168,300.

KOE THE BRAVE

Kevin Koe's team put on their retro sweaters again and they seemed to help them stay hot this weekend in Scotland.

Koe beat Norway's Thomas Ulsrud 6-5 to claim top money in the $32,000 Perth Masters cashspiel.

The Edmonton-based foursome lost just once in Perth, the A Event final to Kerry Burtnyk.

Koe's team had been struggling in the early part of the World Curling Tour schedule and had won $36,250 heading into this weekend, well off the pace that netted the team nearly $110,000 in official earnings last year.

That performance was good enough to give the team a berth into next month's provincials as Alberta's top CTRS team for last season.

FILLING THE FIELD

Renee Sonnenberg, who lost the 2008 Alberta women's final to Shannon Kleibrink, is back for another try.

Sonnenberg grabbed the A Event spot out of the Peace District for the 2009 Alberta championship in Sylvan Lake and will be joined by fellow Grande Prairie clubmate Delia DeJong.

Edmonton's Tiffany Odegard is the only returning team to qualify out of the women's northerns at St. Paul.

Cathy King, who won the 1998 Scott Tournament of Hearts, was eliminated late Saturday night. King last won the Alberta title in 2005.

Joining Odegard from the north are rinks skipped by rookies Brandee Borne of the Saville Centre and Tiffany McKeeman of Lloydminster.

Crystal Webster of Calgary won the A qualifier in the south. Megan Kirk of Lethbridge was playing Vickie Sjolie of Medicine Hat in last night's B final.

Kleibrink, Cheryl Bernard, Heather Rankin and Kristie Moore have pre-qualified for the Jan. 27-Feb. 1 event.


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