Howard cracks $200K in all earnings 0
With the season all but finished, it's time for The Curling Guy to pack it in. Sun Media has been here, there and everywhere in covering the Roaring Game for eight long months, and some facilities will re-open for play as early as June. Enough, already!
John Epping's upset win over world champion Glenn Howard at the Sun Life Financial Players' Championship was a very cool way to end the 2011-12 curling season.
There's one veteran on the team-- world champion Scott Bailey, who used to play lead for Wayne Middaugh--and Epping himself has some great experience, but this was still a green team excelling against the odds.
The women's final featured two also-rans, squads that didn't make it to the nationals. Saskatoon's Stefanie Lawton lost the Saskatchewan STOH final and hadn't thrown many stones between February and early April, but still managed to win the title. Finalist Cathy Overton-Clapham of Winnipeg, who was awarded the women's Capital One Cup for Grand Slam victories, didn't even make it to the Manitoba final; her team was bounced early in the buffalo provincial.
Grand Slam and World Curling Tour events do matter--they provide an essential training ground for national and world championships, a fact that is reflected by their inclusion in the Canadian Curling Association's High-Performance CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System). They bring popular names to smaller towns that don't see a Brier or STOH anymore. And let's face it, the larger tournaments provide healthy competition for the CCA's events--and a monopoly wouldn't do the sport any good.
The final World Curling Tour money list sees Winnipeg's Mike McEwen finishing first with $149,969, Kevin Martin of Edmonton second at $127,000 and Howard ($100,750), Epping ($70,500) and Edmonton's Kevin Koe ($61,250) rounding out the top five.
Meanwhile, The Curling News Gold Trail attempts to track every single dollar earned--including skins games, cup competitions and even sport funding. This system vaults Howard into first place with $234,434 earned and Koe now ranks second with $163,300, just ahead of Martin's revised total of $162,700.McEwen drops to fourth with
$153,969 and Epping's new total of $75,500 actually drops him into sixth place, just behind Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton ($87,452) and ahead of Brandon's Rob Fowler ($72,150).
In women's WCT dollars, Overton- Clapham ranks first with $52,422, followed by Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., at $49,000, Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones at $44,858, Saskatoon's Stefanie Lawton at $43,200 and Switzerland's Michele Jaeggi at $25,492. According to the Gold Trail, however, Jones has triumphed with $113,257, Cathy-O has cashed $101,350, Edmonton's Heather Nedohin sits third with $93,119, Lawton holds fourth with $68,200 and Middaugh is in fifth at $62,000.
Speaking of The Curling News, its final print issue of the season is now online as a super-sized digital edition complete with links to special photo galleries, webpages and videos. Click on http://bit. ly/ TCNdigital to read/watch it.