Brooks holed out a 5-iron for a double-eagle Saturday and the 45-year-old from Franklin, North Carolina, finished with a five-under-par 67. That left him one stroke behind Tyler Lane, who shot a 66 in the second round.
Brooks’ gem wasn’t exactly the shot heard ’round the world, but it was heard all around Elizabethton Golf Course.
After driving into the right rough on the par-five 14th hole, he had 217 yards to the pin with a pond between his ball and the green.
The ball took one bounce and went directly into the hole for the double-eagle, also known as an albatross. It was Brooks’ third double-eagle, but his first in a tournament.
The shot propelled Brooks to a 30 — six under par — on the back nine, which made up for a one-over-par front nine.
“I didn’t see it go in, but I heard everybody say it went in and there were about six people saying it, so we started celebrating,” Brooks said.
Through 36 holes, Lane was at 134, 10 under par. He had seven birdies and a lone bogey on his card on Saturday. His 66 was his second-lowest score in this tournament. He had a 65 one year while finishing third.
“I’ve been close here,” said Lane, a Knoxville native who has played in this event 10 times. “Just never been able to put three good rounds together. Hopefully I’ll keep a little momentum going tomorrow and see what happens.”
Brooks was at nine under par and will join Lucas Armstrong in the final threesome in Sunday’s final round. Armstrong shot 71 that left him at six under.
Ten players were under par after two rounds. First-round leader Nick York followed his 65 with a 74 and was at five under and tied with Nick Cohen.
Jeff Scott and Garrett Whitfield were at four under.
Brooks has been coming to this tournament for seven years and has finished in the top five twice.
“I love the tournament,” he said. “The course is in the best shape I’ve seen it. The hospitality is great. It’s just a fun, fun golf tournament.”
The tournament scoring record is 16 under par, set in 2014 by Cayman Ratliff.
Defending senior champion Mike Poe shot 68, equalling the day’s lowest round among the players age 50 and over. That left him at 139, five under par.
Poe will begin the final round tied with Tony Gouge, who posted a 69 that included an eagle 2 on the par-four 16th hole.
First-round senior leader James Fender shot 73 and will start Sunday one shot behind the co-leaders.
Former champion Ronnie Breeden shot 69 to get to 142. Ron Waters had his second consecutive 71 to get to 142 as well.
Mike Wood had a 68 that left him at 143.