Sanford Golf Club’s Brick Capital Classic Sparkles Once Again

By Jon Hockaday – Hockaday is owner of WFJA and a former PGA member who has been involved with the Brick as a player, SGC employee and radio voice for the Brick Capital Classic since 1994.


The 2023 Brick Capital Classic was played this past weekend for the 47th consecutive year and once again showed why it is considered the top golf tournament in the Sandhills.   Most tournaments usually only survive for about 10 years, and for the Brick to be at its best in the 47th year says a lot about how it’s been done and who’s doing it.   There are a lot of reasons that local players return to Sanford Golf Club the final weekend of June each year – and the crew at SGC has continued to do a stellar job of managing the tournament and continuing in growing the “aura” of the Brick Capital Classic.

The Brick Capital brings players to Sanford GC for many reasons.   It’s not the payout or gift certificates winners may receive that attracts them.  Many sign up because they know it is the best opportunity to measure their game under pressure against the area’s best.  Some sign up as it is golf’s top “social” event of the year.   Players like the attention the tournament receives from media and the golf course staff – and that things are just different at the Brick Capital.   Many like the live on-course scoring with live radio updates that gives the feel of a professional event.   But it really is a combination of all the above and more that has put the Brick Capital in a place where no other local tournament has reached.    Knowing that it only takes one or two bad years or even one bad decision to bring an event down in a hurry makes the 47-year run all the more impressive.

The Brick Capital Classic even has its own Champions Dinner and the former winners got together this past Friday night.  1989 Champion John Green was in attendance for the 1st time since the dinner started in 2020 and it was great to see the former champion.

It was nice to hear comments from the players about how the event is run – especially those that come from out of the area.   Two Moore County golfers said they wish there was a tournament like this in Moore, and it’s obvious that Harnett County players like it as well – with over 20 of them competing.   Several new players from Raleigh entered this year – and bets are they’ll be back in 2024 now that they’ve seen the Brick up close.

As a big fan of SGC and the tournament itself, below are several things that players shared with me over the weekend that players notice and appreciate about the Brick Capital Classic.

  • Brick competitors commented throughout the weekend raving about the course and the job that Keith Thomas & Staff do each year in prepping for the event.   It helps that Thomas is a good player himself, and course set-up and strategic pin placements each year gets the attention of the players.   Thomas had some additional challenges this year with some winter-kill and a cool summer that hasn’t allowed the rough to be as thick as normal.  But a job well done – once again.
  • You can walk by the Brick Capital scoreboard on Sunday afternoon and the scorecards, names, and numbers all look like they came off an IBM printer.  But they didn’t.  The calligraphy of Head Professional David Von Canon is impressive, and the players appreciate the professionalism of the job he and Brandon Honeycutt do managing the event.
  • The WFJA staff was thanked numerous times over the weekend for providing live updates of the event and the leaderboard.   Golfers seem to enjoy the updates, and the fact that 350 more people were streaming WFJA than usual on a Sunday afternoon – tells us that listeners were keeping up with the Brick Capital on WFJA.
  • The crowds near the finish of the tournament have seemed to grow each year, with a nice crowd surrounding the 9th green at yesterday’s finish.  The Championship Flight players playing in front of the crowds appreciate the experience – again giving the feel of playing in a big-time event.

I was fortunate enough to be at SGC most all weekend doing radio updates and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the 157 golfers that played this year and some of the cool things that went on.  I was able to watch quite a bit of golf, and there was an abundance of things that got my attention.  Some of the highlights I will remember the most are:

  • Jack Radley won his 3rd Brick title with one of the wildest Sunday rounds ever played by a Brick Champion.   Radley turned in 7 birdies, one eagle, 5 bogeys and 5 pars to shoot 67 and came from the 1st Flight to win the tournament.   It was a nice turnaround from his opening 73 and a win well deserved.
  • 3rd place finisher Steve Hamby may have been as fun to watch as anyone this weekend at the Brick.   Hamby, from Coats, is a former professional that arguably was the longest hitter in this year’s Brick Capital.   Several times this weekend I heard “He did what?” in reference to some of the shots hit by Hamby.   Whether it was the 3-wood, 8 iron to a foot on the par 5 16th in Friday’s practice round in wet conditions, or the gargantuan 7 iron that he hit to the 9th green from #1 fairway uphill over the tallest trees on the course – it was fun to watch and quite amazing as well. 
  • I am still trying to figure how Jonathan Hockaday managed to shoot under par (70-71-141) on a weekend where he only hit 15 of 36 greens in regulation.  His chipping & putting was nothing short of remarkable, and his chip for eagle to tie for the tournament at the final hole had a chance.
  • 1st round leader Brad McDougald fired one of the best opening rounds in BBC history – turning in a 30-35-65 to take a 2-shot overnight lead.   McDougald let it get away early in the 2nd round and had a long day Sunday, eventually finishing 5th in the Championship Flight.   But McDougald, who won the Quail Ridge Classic in 2022, can remember that only 6 rounds in the history of the event have been better.
  • Just as important to me as the top players and the things they did, it was good to see the attitudes and excitement of the 120-130 other players – who really didn’t have a chance of being the Brick Capital Champion.  They all loved the competition within their flights and just enjoyed being a part of the Brick Capital Classic atmosphere.

It is always easy for me to feel good after spending a weekend at Sanford Golf Club and being a small part of the Brick Capital Classic.   After spending a large part of my youth growing up there, working there in later years, and watching this tournament become what it has makes my heart feel good today and I’m already looking forward to next year.   There’s no doubt in my mind that it will sparkle even brighter in 2024.  


Please thank the following businesses for helping provide radio updates for the 2023 Brick Capital Classic:

Adams & Howell, Attorneys

Ascend Leadership Academy

Brian Estes, Lee County Sheriff

Central Electric Membership Corporation

Central Moving & Storage

Chuck Smith Construction

Comfort First Heating & Air

Cooper’s Pharmacy – Vass

Davenport Investments – Heather Wicker

Dental Care of Sanford


Dr. Jeffrey Love

Dr. Lynn Smith

Elite Storage

Hattaway Family Dentistry

Holder Insurance – Jimmy & Wendy

Jones Printing Company

Kar Kraft of Sanford – Chance Cicogna

Kelly Mobile

Mrs. Wenger’s Restaurant

Normann Financial Group

Piggly Wiggly Grocery

Rogers Pickard Funeral Home

Sanford Area Growth Alliance

Sanford Golf Club – David Von Canon

Sanford Insurance Center

Sanford Turf & Irrigation

Spine & Pain Associates

The Shed Depot

The Temple Theatre

Woods Doster, Attorney

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