Cherokee, Iowa: For Ryan Feauto, his victory in the 88th Sioux Valley Men’s Amateur Match Play at Cherokee Golf and Country Club was not only a celebration of his own success, but also a pride for his family and community.
Sioux Valley is Iowa’s longest running match play tournament and takes place over two consecutive weekends. The 162 golfers in the tournament began with an 18-hole round of shots on Sunday June 12, which determined the flights for match play on Saturday and Sunday June 18 and 19.
Feauto shot par 72 to earn the 11th or 12th seed out of 16 Championship Flight golfers.
Feauto qualified for the championship game by defeating three former Morningside College golfers: Aaron Robinson of Overland Park, Kansas, 6 and 5; Matt Pitts of Ankeny, who was Sioux Valley champion in 2012, 3 and 2; and Sam Storey of Surrey, England, 1 place. Robinson and Storey were seniors this spring. Against Storey, Feauto birdied the final three holes, rallying from 1 down with three holes to play.
Colin Mitchell joins the Briar Cliff University men’s golf program as an assistant coach. The Sioux City North High graduate is a professional golf assistant at Green Valley Golf Course in Sioux City.
In the championship game, Feauto birdied the final two holes to pass Sioux City’s Colin Mitchell, assistant men’s golf coach at Briar Cliff University and assistant pro at Green Valley Golf Course in Sioux City, 3 and 1. Feauto, 23, said of the challenge of playing four games in two days, “It’s very tiring. I definitely finished all my matches well, but it’s tough. You have been here for so many hours. There is a lot of pressure. You are tired. It’s easy to make mistakes late in the game, but I’ve closed some games with birdies. I made a few putts, drove the ball well.
He added: “Most of the tournament I rode really well, I did really well. Because it was so windy, everyone was missing the greens and doing a lot of scrambling, but I was able to get up and down around the greens.
Cherokee Golf and Country Club is a nine-hole course, and Feauto said, “A lot of people hear ‘nine-hole course,’ and they don’t immediately think of championship golf, but it is absolutely a golf course. championship. … It is a difficult and hilly golf course. You need to hit almost every club in your bag. … So it’s a very good test from top to bottom.
Feauto said this is the seventh year he has pursued the Sioux Valley crown. He also got third and fourth place finishes in previous years.
Feauto said the long history of his father, uncles and cousins playing in the Sioux Valley made it a special win.
“I really look forward to playing this tournament every year,” he said.
Feauto, a son of Jim and Janet Feauto (his dad is an administrator and mom an accountant at the Regency Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center), said his dad repeatedly qualified for the championship flight, even winning medals for the low-kick game a year, but never got past the first day of match play.
Ryan called it “pretty cool” that Carroll now has trophy ties to the Sioux Valley men’s and women’s championships.
Ann Slechta, a financial adviser at Slate Wealth Management in Carroll, won Sioux Valley’s first women’s amateur match last summer and will defend her title at this year’s event, which takes place July 9-10.
In the final match of last year, Slechta defeated freshman roommate and Briar Cliff teammate Tracey Adkin of South Sioux City, Nebraska. Slechta, a 1994 Cherokee Washington High School graduate, played a year at Briar Cliff, placed 10th in the NAIA National Championship, making her an All-American. She transferred to Kansas State University, where she ended her college career. She then became head women’s golf coach at Ohio University for three years and at Wichita State University for one year, then took the position of assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame. to help build a top 25 program. She was the recruiting coordinator and traveled all over the United States and Canada to find championship golfers to play for the Fighting Irish. When she arrived at Notre Dame the Irish were ranked 100th and when she left they were ranked 25th in the country. She was a finalist for the women’s golf coaching position at Iowa State University in 2005. She then accepted a marketing manager position at Sioux City Country Club to return to her home state. She started her career as a financial adviser in 2007 and opened her own business in Carroll in 2011 eight weeks after giving birth to her first child, Rylee Ann.
Feauto played golf at Dordt College in Sioux Center, where he graduated in 2021 with a degree in animal science. He recently earned his master’s degree in biomedical science at Iowa State and applied to vet school there. He is currently a research assistant at Iowa State University Veterinary School and also an assistant in the pro shop at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames.
He has won the Carroll City Golf Championship for the past two years but will not be defending his title this year as he now lives in Ames. Sioux Valley was his first tournament this year. He plans to play in the Iowa Masters at Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames and is on a waiting list to play in the Pine to Palm Match Play in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.