47th Brick Capital Classic – Still Lee County’s “Unofficial” Area Golf Championship
The 47th Annual Brick Capital Classic is just ahead this coming June 24-25 at Sanford Golf Club and once again the top golfers throughout the Sandhills will seek to win the area’s most coveted golf prize. The annual championship is now 47 years old, and the aura and history of the event has been a big part of Sanford’s golf history over that time.
The tournament was started in 1977 by the Sanford Golf Commission – and unlike most tournaments that normally last 10 years of less – the Brick Capital Classic has continued to grow and the importance of winning the title has become a focus of local players. The promotion of the tournament in the early years, coupled with the fact that Sanford GC course personnel always had the course in the best shape of the year for the event, kept players coming back and placing even more importance on the tournament. While the tournament basically featured only local players from 1977 through the early 90s, the word was getting out, and regional players were starting to find their way to the Brick Capital.
Don Moss of Spring Lake became the first “non-Sanford” winner of the tournament in 1993 and one of NC’s best amateurs in the 90s – Reidsville’s Mike Goodes won in 1998. Goodes would go on to a successful PGA Tour Champions career – and placing his name on the Brick Capital plaque was just another feather in the tournament’s cap.
Radio broadcasts of the tournament begin in the mid-90s – along with a real-time leaderboard and on-course scorekeepers – and the Brick Capital went to the next level. Along with the continually growing reputation of the tournament and better players each and every year, scoring has changed drastically during the 90s and since. While most of the tournaments from 1977 thru 1989 were won with scores near or just below par, scores begin to drop, and tournament records would shatter over the next 20 years.
4-time winner Gerald Harrington begin the change in scoring with a 64-70 in 1990 (a record bested 4 times since) and the number of mid 60s rounds on opening day since have been commonplace. Two opening round 63s have been posted (2017 winner Will Morgan and 1995 winner Craig Sturdivant) and four 64s (Harrington, 4-time winner David Wicker in 2001, Jack Radley in 2018 and Brett McLamb in 2019) with all going on to win.
Below are interesting history tidbits on the upcoming Brick Capital Classic. Follow WFJA Sports at www.wwfjawwgpradio.com for more Brick Capital golf articles.
- Chris Dalrymple won the 1st Brick Capital in 1977 just days after graduating from UNC. Dalrymple would win again in 1988 and is one of 10 players with multiple Brick titles.
- Arguably Sanford’s best player in the early years of the Brick, Danny Brown won 3 times (dominating the field in 1978 & 1981, and winning again in 1991)
- Don Marks of Sanford won the first playoff in Brick history with a win on the 3rd extra hole. Marks withstood a final hole eagle from Mike Elliott and then topped Elliott with a 20-footer at the 3rd to win in 1982.
- Joe Gay became the youngest winner in 1983 at just over 17 years of age, beating Chris Dalrymple in playoff. Gay would win again in 1985.
- Ray Epley of Sanford fired a final round 65 to win the 1986 Brick Capital. Epley started near the bottom of the Championship Flight but blew past everyone with a final round 65 – still the lowest final round in BBC history.
- Current Sanford Golf Club Professional David Von Canon won the Brick Capital in 1992 before eventually assuming management of the tournament. Von Canon fired rounds of 68-70 to finish at 4 under par for the win.
- One of three players to win the Brick Capital in three different decades, Craig Sturdivant won the 1995 tournament with rounds of 63-69…still the 2nd lowest total in tournament history.
- In 2000, Bobby Ballinger started Sunday 2-shots off the lead but fired a final round 69 to fight off Campbell University Coach John Crooks down the stretch to win his only Brick Capital title.
- David Wicker won four Brick titles in an eleven-year span (2001, 2003, 2010, & 2011) and is still the only back-to-back winner. It was Wicker’s 20-foot eagle putt on the 18th to win in 2010 that is still remembered as one of the top moments in Brick Capital history.
- The 2017 Champion tied the opening round record with a 63 and followed it with a 68 to set the current Brick Capital record of 11 under par. Will Morgan of Laurinburg led throughout on Sunday – eventually winning by 7 shots.
- Another 4-time winner Press McPhaul picked up his 4th win in a playoff over Jonathan Hockaday in 2020. McPhaul, who won in 1997, 2005 & 2008, would win with a birdie on the 3rd playoff hole.
Brick Capital Records
Gerald Harrington (4) 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999
David Wicker (4) 2001, 2003, 2010, 2011
Press McPhaul (4) 1997, 2005, 2008, 2020
Danny Brown (3) 1978, 1981, 1991
Craig Sturdivant (3) 1984, 1995, 2004
*Five Players with two (2) titles (Dalrymple, JGay, Pomeranz, McCurry, Radley)
Lowest 36-Hole Totals
Will Morgan (2017) 131 – (63-68)
Brett McLamb (2019) 132 – (64-68)
Craig Sturdivant (1995) 132 – (63-69)
David Wicker (2001) 133 – (64-69)
Lowest 1st Round Scores
Will Morgan (2017) 63
Craig Sturdivant (1995) 63
Gerald Harrington (1990) 64
David Wicker (2001) 64
Jack Radley (2018) 64
Brett McLamb (2019) 64
Lowest 2nd Round Scores
Ray Epley (1986) 65
David Wicker (2014) 66
Paul Jett (2016) 66
Largest Margin of Victory
Gerald Harrington by 7 shots (1990) 64-70-134
Will Morgan by 7 shots (2017) 63-68-131
David Wicker by 7 shots (2001) 64-69-133
Brick Winners By Year
1977 – Chris Dalrymple, Sanford
1978 – Danny Brown, Sanford
1979 – Harold Thomas, Sanford
1980 – Paul Gay, Sanford
1981 – Danny Brown, Sanford
1982 – Don Marks, Sanford
1983 – Joe Gay, Sanford
1984 – Craig Sturdivant, Sanford
1985 – Joe Gay, Sanford
1986 – Ray Epley, Sanford
1987 – Mike Purvis, Sanford
1988 – Chris Dalrymple, Pinehurst
1989 – John Green, Sanford
1990 – Gerald Harrington, Sanford
1991 – Danny Brown, Sanford
1992 – David Von Canon, Sanford
1993 – Don Moss, Spring Lake
1994 – Gerald Harrington, Wilmington
1995 – Craig Sturdivant, Sanford
1996 – Gerald Harrington, Wilmington
1997 – Press McPhaul, Sanford
1998 – Mike Goodes, Reidsville
1999 – Gerald Harrington, Wilmington
2000 – Bobby Ballinger, Sanford
2001 – David Wicker, Sanford
2002 – Jordan Pomeranz, Sanford
2003 – David Wicker, Sanford
2004 – Craig Sturdivant, Sanford
2005 – Press McPhaul, Sanford
2006 – Currie Howell, Fuquay-Varina
2007 – Carson Lanier, Sanford
2008 – Press McPhaul, Greenville
2009 – Jonathan McCurry, Sanford
2010 – David Wicker, Sanford
2011 – David Wicker, Sanford
2012 – Jonathan McCurry, Sanford
2013 – Jack Radley, Sanford
2014 – Gaston Bertinatti, Spain
2015 – Sherrill Britt, Pinehurst
2016 – Paul Jett, Pinehurst
2017 – Will Morgan, Laurinburg
2018 – Jack Radley, Sanford
2019 – Brett McLamb, Angier
2020 – Press McPhaul, Raleigh
2021 – Jordan Pomeranz, Florida
2022 – Brandon Jones, Sanford
Listen Saturday & Sunday afternoons for LIVE Updates of the 47th Annual Brick Capital Classic on WFJA Sports 105.5 FM or listen online at: www.wfjawwgpradio.com