(Story courtesy Jim Horten, UTC Director of Communications & Media Relations)
Chattanooga Mocs graduate Brooks Thomas ’17 was a guy who saved the best for last. His final campaign this past season was strong, ending in All-Southern Conference honors. It’s carried over into his post-graduate play.
The Chattanooga native, and Ringgold High School alum, earned a berth in the United States Amateur later this summer yesterday at Willow Creek Golf Club in Knoxville. He did it in dramatic fashion.
“It was a grind all day and just to finally to be done with it after 37 holes, it was just awesome, says Thomas, "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.”
Thomas’ 4-under total 136 at Willow Creek Golf Club in Knoxville 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’ from the hole, but his putt was true for the 3.
Mark Guhne, UTC's head golf coach says he is proud of Thomas' work. “He earned this spot. The work he put in all four years… he was not out-worked I can tell you that. To sum up my thoughts on Brooks into a word…proud. Just very, very proud of him and excited to follow him.”
The U.S. Amateur is August 14-20 at famed Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., 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.