Bret Taylor of Council Bluffs Tuesday carded a scorching 67 on his first time playing the venerable Cherokee Golf & Country Club course to take the medalist lead in the 77th annual Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Tournament.
Taylor, the former golf pro at Two Rivers and later at Dakota Dunes in North Sioux City, S.D., who has since regained his amateur status, fired rounds of 32-35 to take the medalist lead from initial leader Nick Dreckman of Remsen, who carded a 68 on Saturday on rounds of 31-37.
About 90 qualifiers have tried their luck through noon Wednesday, with the rest of this week scheduled for qualifying, with deadlines Friday for nine holes remaining at 3 p.m., and 18 holes at 1 p.m.
The $75 entry fee includes 18 practice holes, 18 qualifying holes, and tournament match-play action either in the Sioux Valley Am this weekend, or the following Saturday in the Consolation Tournament for all qualifiers missing the Sioux Valley Am cut.
Former Cherokean Shane Bellefy of Minneapolis, Minn. shot a one-under 71, and Cherokee Washington High boys golf coach James DeVos, carded an even-par 72.
Other top scores posted through noon Wednesday included defending Champion Bill Mathers of Cushing 75, Brian Barto of South Sioux City, Neb. 75, Paul Hyndman of Cherokee 75, former Cherokean Dude Phipps of South Sioux City 75, Jason Spooner of Cherokee 76, Matt Pitts of Cherokee 76, Former Cherokean Dale Judson of Arnolds Park 77, Zach Mathers of Sioux Falls, S.D. 78, former Sioux Valley Champ Tom Bohnenkamp of Aurelia 78, Jon Miller of Cherokee 78, Greg Nacke of Remsen 79.
Tournament action is Saturday and Sunday for Iowa's oldest match-play tournament, with Championship and First Flights playing 18-hole matches, and Flights 2-7 playing 9-hole matches. There are 16 golfers to a Flight.
The medalist Award for Qualifiers is $300. The Championship Flight winner gains a leg on the Frank Greenwood Memorial Trophy, which takes three legs to retire.
Bill Mathers, the long-time River Valley Athletic Director, and former football, softball, and golf coach who has played in the coveted tournament for more than 35 years, is defending champion, winning the Championship Flight last year at age 61.
The popular Calcutta Auction and Meal is Friday night, with entertainment for that event the talented pianist/vocalist Tony Bohnenkamp, an Aurelia native and professional musician now living in Des Moines.
There are prizes galore for golfers, including winning a 2011 Chevy Camaro courtesy of Holzhauer Motors Ltd. of Cherokee, and a customized 2011 Yamaha Golf Cart from Yamaha Golf Equipment of Le Mars, for each hole-in-one on #4 during first-round match play on Saturday.
Also, Royer's Jewelry of Cherokee will be giving away a Seiko Watch for closest to the pin on #8 during the Consolation Tournament.
Chesterman Company and Coca-Cola also sponsors a Long-Drive contest on #2.
For more information, contact the Cherokee Golf & Country Club at 225-4687, or tournament organizers Jason Spooner at 261-5878, Bill Spindler at 221-9328, or Chris Jenness at 229-5232. You also can access the website
Qualifying Sioux Valley Am golfers can call for Tourney Flight tee times after 6:30 p.m. Friday Carts are available and should be reserved early.