Beside all the hoopla surrounding the 18-hole matches of the Championship and First Flights of the annual Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Tournament here, six other Flights are contested and six more Champions crowned in entertaining 9-hole matches, often featuring skilled Championship Flight golfers who just missed the cut.
All told, 128 golfers comprising 16 to a Flight in Flights Championship through 7th survive the annual Sioux Valley Am cut, with all others automatically qualifying for the Consolation Tournament the following Saturday, comprised of 9-hole matches also in match-play format.
The 2009 Champions in Flights 2 through 9 include:
2nd Flight - Bill Mathers, Cushing.
3rd Flight - Jason Ruba, Remsen.
4th Flight - Jeff Johnson, Phoenix, Ariz.
5th Flight - Scott Finneman, Urbandale.
6th Flight - Rich Cook, Cherokee (Yea!).
7th Flight - Tim Greenwood, Cherokee (Yea!).
Mathers beat James DeVos of Cherokee 1-up in his first match, beat Bill Weathers of Aurelia 4 and 3, and beat Aaron Clausen of Storm Lake 1-up, before defeating Dave Greenwood of Omaha 4 and 2 in the finals. Greenwood beat Cory Willadson of Sioux Falls 4 and 3, beat Kyle Nielsen of Storm Lake 1-up, and beat Bill Spindler of Cherokee 2 and 1 in the semifinals to make the finals. Clausen beat Spindler 4 and 3 to win Consolation.
In 3rd Flight, Ruba beat Ed Spindler of Greeley, Colo. 3 and 2, Scott Weber of Cherokee 2 and 1, and Jon Miller of Cherokee 1-up in 11 holes, before beating Brady Nurse of Storm Lake 2-up in the finals. Nurse defeated Tom Kohn of Cushing 1-up in 11 holes, beat Jim Florke of North Platte, Neb. 3 and 2, and beat Sam Mullins of Iowa City 2 and 1 to make finals. Miller beat Mullins 4 and 2 to win Consolation.
Johnson, a Cherokee native playing in the Sioux Valley since his youth, beat Bill Sessions of Sioux City 1-up 10 holes to win 4th Flight honors. Johnson beat Bill Walsh of Des Moines 3-up, beat Jake Spindler of Cherokee 4 and 3, and beat Jim Nurse of Storm Lake 5 and 3 to make finals. Sessions beat Cherokee native Dana Braunschweig of Des Moines 4 and 2, beat Sean Monley of Des Moines 3 and 2, and defeated Anthony Miller of Cherokee 2-up to make finals. Nurse beat Miller 3 and 2 to win Consolation.
Finneman won the 5th Flight after beating Stan Sitzmann of Cherokee 1-up, beating Dave Rebarcek of Des Moines 2 and 1, and beating Tyler Schultz of Mankato, Minn. 4 and 2, before defeating Don Ehric of Denver, Colo. 2-up in the finals. Ehric beat Dan Robinson of Tulsa, Okla. 3 and 2, beat Kent Wenck of Cherokee 1-up, and beat Kurt Clabaugh of Cherokee 3 and 2, to make finals. Claybaugh beat Schultz 3 and 1 to win Consolation.
Cook won the 6th Flight after defeating Mark Croady of Primghar 1-up, beating Pat Phipps of Moville 1-up, and beating former Cherokean Jeff Nelson of Reedsburg, Wisc. 1-up, before beating Nick Heath 1-up in the finals. Heath beat Tom Girsch of Waterloo 4 and 2, beat J.P. Johnson of Phoenix 2 and 1, and beat Tim Gum of Cherokee 1-up to make finals. Gum beat Nelson 2-up to win Consolation.
In 7th Flight, Greenwood beat Steve Corken of Cherokee 3 and 1, beat Steve Hirschman of Aurelia 3 and 2, and beat Mike Noah of Sioux Falls 2-up, before defeating former Cherokean Rob Deedrick of Des Moines in the finals. Deedrick beat Cherokee native Brad Rupp of Plant City, Fla. 2 and 1, beat Nick Hirschman of Aurelia 4 and 3, and beat former Cherokean Tom French of Ankeny 2 and 1 to make the finals. Noach beat French 1-up in 10 holes to win Consolation.