Turner aims for 10th Alberta title

TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

CALGARY - Nine Alberta titles later, Sandy Turner still has a thirst for curling supremacy.

She'd love to make it 10 this coming Sunday, when the veteran joins fellow Calgarians Marilyn Toews and Judy Carr in defending their provincial masters women's championship in Edmonton.

"Oh yeah, you'd think that after all these years, you'd mellow," said Turner, who's joined by second Toews and lead Carr under skip Linda Wagner for the Alberta Masters beginning Wednesday.

"But when you get out there, you get focused and get right at it -- especially after it didn't go the way you hoped the previous year."

Last March, Turner skipped her Calgary Curling Club rink, which included Toews, Carr and lead Betty Clarke, to her fourth Alberta masters crown, but they started slow at the nationals in New Brunswick, where they finished 3-4 and fell shy of the playoff round.

With Wagner skipping the squad this year, the Calgarians hope to take care of unfinished business but first have to survive the six-team provincials as the city's only representatives.

"Yeah, it's like, 'Wow, where is everybody?" Turner said. "We've got to carry the whole (Calgary) load."

On the men's side, two Calgary rinks are in the eight-team mix for the provincial crown.

Inglewood's Dave Rutherford and the Calgary Curling Club's Doug McIntyre check in Wednesday with as good a chance as anybody at the Thistle Curling Club.

"I'd have to give Dave the benefit of us Calgary teams," said McIntyre, bowing to Rutherford's experience at provincial finales.

"We didn't really expect to make it this far. We're happy as heck to get there."

While Rutherford & Co. are dealing with health issues -- second JR McDonald, a former Brier competitor, is sidelined with a leg injury -- McIntyre heads into the provincials as a first-time masters skip.

"There's a little more pressure being skip," McIntyre added. "We'll see what happens."

EXTRA ENDS

The team of Michael Roy of Airdrie, Geoff Nicholson of Calgary, Mac Lenton of Airdrie and Taylor Ardiel of Okotoks have started their quest for Canada Winter Games gold in Halifax. Skip Roy and his Alberta squad opened Monday with a 12-5 win over Newfoundland and Labrador ... The bantam playdowns began over the weekend with district play in Innisfail. Tyler Lautner (North Hill), Mitchell Parsons (Nanton/ High River), Scott Elgersma (Brooks), Jeremy Reitze (Red Deer), Chantele Broderson (Vauxhall), Morgan Krassman (Medicine Hat) and Alex Bowyer (Medicine Hat) all qualified for the southerns, which are set for March 25-27 in Taber.

LAST ROCK

Kevin Martin's rink, which includes Calgarians John Morris and Ben Hebert, sit second among men on the World Curling Tour money list with $92,000. Winnipeg's Mike McEwen is first with $114,490. Brent Bawel, Brock Virtue and Steve Petr yk, all from Calgary, are 20th ($15,750), 21st ($15,650) and 25th ($14,200), respectively. Among women, Shann on Kleibrink is seventh on the WCT money list with $22,400. Fellow Calgary rinks skipped by Cheryl Bernard and Heather Rankin are 19th ($12,600) and 22nd ($7,300), respectively.


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