CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – 2017 Chattanooga graduate Brooks Thomas earned a berth in the United States Amateur later this summer Tuesday at Willow Creek Golf Club in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Chattanooga native and Ringgold High School alum did it in dramatic fashion.
Thomas’ 4-under total 136 at Willow Creek put him in a playoff with Turk Pettit and Chip Thomas, no relation. A birdie on the first hole of extended time punched his ticket.
Brooks opened with a 3-under 67. He followed with 69 on the 36-hole grind to reach the playoff. On the playoff hole, his tee shot found the rough, while his competitors were safely on the fairway. His approach ended up 40 feet from the hole, but his putt was true for the 3.
The U.S. Amateur is Aug. 14-20 at famed Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, in suburban Los Angeles. Thomas is the first Mocs student-athlete to reach the field since Steven Fox’s win at Cherry Creek C.C. in 2012. That Thomas’ qualifying took 37 holes mirrors Fox’s win with an extra hole, as well.
The Mocs qualified for the NCAA Championships at Riviera in spring of 2012. Thomas signed with the Chattanooga program in the fall of 2012.
“It was a grind all day and just to finally to be done with it after 37 holes, it was just awesome,” Thomas said. “One of the main reasons I chose to come to UTC in the first place was Fox’s win in 2012. It was such a huge accomplishment.”