By Paul Wiecek – Winnipeg Free Press

STEVE Gould has won the world championships, the Brier, five Manitoba titles — and now the southern berth bonspiel.

Gould and the rest of the Jeff Stoughton foursome on Monday completed an undefeated run through this year’s southern berth spiel in Beausejour to capture their return ticket to February’s provincial men’s curling championship.

“That’s the first (southern) berth bonspiel I’ve ever played in,” Gould said after a 6-2 win over Winnipeg’s Dean Dunstone in the final. “Jon has also never played in one and Jeff said he has played in only one, back in 1993.”

As defending provincial champions, Stoughton and Gould would normally get an automatic berth into this winter’s provincials. But because they replaced half their team over the summer — replacing second Rob Fowler and third Kevin Park with Reid Carruthers and Jon Mead respectively — they lost that privilege.

Complicating matters further, a scheduling change this season has put the city zone playdowns in conflict with a Grand Slam event the team has already entered.

And so that left just a handful of options for the Stoughton foursome, including a southern spiel that is a lottery of sorts — with dozens of teams competing and no reward for second place.

The 2011 Safeway Championship is being held Feb. 9-13 at the SunGro Centre in Beausejour.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s Janet Harvey punched her ticket to January’s provincial women’s curling championship with a 5-3 win over Springfield’s Calleen Neufeld in the final of the Scotties Berth Bonspiel at the Brandon Curling Club Monday.

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