Radley wins his first Brick Capital Classic
In his eighth year playing in the tournament, Sanford's Jack Radley won his first Brick Capital Classic on Sunday. Radley shot 67 and 70 to finish five-under par and one shot better than David Wicker and Paul Jett, who made Radley sweat right down to Radley's six-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to clinch the trophy.
Whether looking at it as breaking through for Sanford Municipal Golf Course's biggest title of the year, or getting a monkey off his back, Radley was all smiles after holding on to what was a one-stroke margin for the last four holes Sunday evening.
"I've been waiting for it for a little while," said Radley.
"I've seen my buddies win," he said, "so it feels good to finally win it."
Radley and Wicker, with rounds of 67 on Saturday, and Jett and Duff Meyer, who carded 68s Saturday, made up the final foursome for the last round. With three birdies in six holes, Radley moved to seven-under par and as large as a five-shot margin on Wicker and Jett.
"I putted really well. I made some putts I probably wasn't supposed to make, but I was able to make some good strokes and that helped me calm down," said Radley, who first played the Brick Capital Classic in 2006 and who played in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship last July.
"Obviously this is a tournament I really wanted to win and making some putts early gave me a little extra composure to keep hitting good golf shots the rest of the way," he said.
Radley's putting had a couple hiccups on the back nine but overall, and when it counted most, his short game saved him as Jett and Wicker played excellent making for a tight finish.
Jett, from Pinehurst, birdied the par-four 10th by rolling in a 20-foot putt and the par-three 11th with a great fairway wood on the 205-yard hole and a 12-foot putt.
As Jett got to three-under par, Radley made scrambling pars, with a pitch and putt on 10 and 11, to stay five-under.
Jett's hot streak cooled as did Radley's ability to save par on No. 14 and 15.
No. 15, a mild-looking dogleg par-four, bit Radley and Jett. Radley three-putted to make five. Jett missed the green to the left and chipped by the pin into the fringe before making bogey. Wicker made a difficult par, getting out of a greenside trap and rolling in a 12-foot putt. Radley, at three-under, led Jett and Wicker by a stroke.
Moving to the par-five No. 16, Radley was the only one to reach the green in two, yet Wicker came within a couple inches of tying Radley, nearly holing his greenside chip shot for an eagle. All three contenders made birdie.
All three made par on the long par-four No. 17. Jett nearly made a 12-foot birdie putt. Radley rolled a long birdie putt by the hole, well into nervous range, yet made the six-footer coming back to remain one stroke ahead.
Wicker and Jett did everything to make Radley earn the title. Jett played the par-five No. 18 in three shots, hitting a nice pitch and making his birdie putt. Wicker hit a brilliant three-wood for his second shot, skipping it on the green, near the hole, and coming to rest about 20 feet beyond the cup. Wicker made birdie from there.
Radley, certainly with the distance to reach No. 18 in two, had his fairway wood miss left into a grass bunker. As he did plenty of other times on the back nine, he pitched up and made the putt, this one saving the victory.
"I had to grind all the way around," Radley said, "and with Wick (Wicker) and Paul out there, I mean they were hitting shot after shot right at the flag."
Edging Wicker, a four-time Classic champion and the 2010 and '11 champ, added a little more to the title, said Radley, largely out of being friends along with being two competitors.
"Dave's a great friend of mine and clearly he's a great player. He's always looked out for me," Radley said.
Meyer and Gerald Harrington finished tied for fourth in the championship flight at one-over par 143.
The lowest score of Sunday's round came from the second flight. Craig Sturdivant, a four-time champion, shot 75 in the first round and 66 Sunday. Sturdivant didn't run away with his flight either, Zac Lewis shot 76 and 68 to finish second in the flight.
Brad Wicker and Tony Bloedorn tied for the first flight title shooting 147. Kyle Wicker and Kevin McDougald shared first in the third flight at 153.
David Caplan shot even-par 71 Sunday to total 151 an win the fourth flight. Keith Thomas, shooting 160, won the fifth flight. Britt Bendell, at 167, won the sixth flight. Aaron Eubanks, at 174, won the seventh flight. Preston Gaster and Wayne Freeman Jr. tied at 184 to for first in the eighth flight.
James Doyle shot 71 and 74 to finish three-over par and win the top flight of the senior division. Mickey Johnson shot 82 and 81 to win the second senior flight.
The final round was stopped due to thunderstorms, for a delay of about an hour and 15 minutes - and extra social time in and around the clubhouse. The leading foursome was on No. 8 at the time of the delay.
37th Annual Brick Capital Classic
at Sanford Municipal Golf Course
Jack Radley 67-70 137 (-5)
David Wicker 67-71 138
Paul Jett 68-70 138
Duff Meyer 68-75 143
Gerald Harrington 71-72 143
Currie Howell 72-75 147
Jonathan Blackard 72-76 148
Brad McDougald 69-80 149
Matt Rhodes 71-79 150
Jonathan Hockaday 72-81 153