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The 127th Amateur Championship: Gough chasing history
15 Jun 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: English Amateur Championship, Lindrick Golf Club, John Gough Rankings

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John Gough (Royal and Ancient photo)
John Gough (Royal and Ancient photo)

John Gough feels right at home at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.

Less than a month removed from winning the Lytham Trophy, the Englishman is onto the Round of 32 of the 127th Amateur Championship at the historic Lancashire layout after recording an 8 and 6 victory over Denmark’s Frederik Birkelund on Wednesday.

If Gough is to accomplish the rare double, he would join the great Sir Michael Bonallack as the only player to win The Amateur and the Lytham Trophy in the same year. Bonallack won the inaugural 1965 Lytham Trophy, and then triumphed in that year’s Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl, the second of five Amateur titles he owns. Only two other players have won both titles. Peter McEvoy won consecutive Amateur Championships in 1977 and 1978, and the Lytham Trophy the following year. Stuart Wilson triumphed at Lytham in 2003 before winning the 2004 Amateur at St Andrews.

“Match play seems to be treating me well,” Gough said. “If I just keep playing matches and winning them, then I think we'll have a very nice outcome at the end. It's another opponent every day but I feel for people playing me, they could potentially feel that.”

• • • • •

Banke and Murphy still alive

Two Americans -- Christian Banke and Sam Murphy -- have advanced to the round of 32.

Banke, a first-team All-Pac 12 selection who recently concluded his senior season at Arizona, defeated Connor Wilson of Scotland, 5 and 4 while Murphy, a recent graduate of Louisiana Tech, took out Jonas Baumgarner of Germany, 3 and 1.

Jack Gnam, formerly of Ole Miss, and Youssef Guezzale, who played collegiately at San Diego State, both went down to defeat on Wednesday.

• • • • •

Broomhead progresses

Leading qualifier Jonathan Broomhead continued his title bid, beating Lytham St. Annes member Callan Barrow by one hole.

“I’m very happy with the win," said the South African. "There is a bit of past history with the number one seed getting knocked out in this round. I played very nicely today but I did let a few things go toward the end and Callan made some good putts coming down the stretch."

Barclay Brown, who matched Broomhead at 7-under in stroke-play qualifying, bowed out after the Stanford standout suffered a 4 and 3 defeat at the hands of Dane Gustav Frimodt, who came through 36 holes today after a preliminary round victory against Lars van der Vight of the Netherlands.

“I just kind of kept my head cool against Barclay,” commented Frimodt. “I only made one bogey through the whole day, so that's kind of what you have to do out here. He's obviously a great player.

“I just kind of went out, with low expectations, played my game and for wherever it took me.”

• • • • •

Other matches of note

Brown's Great Britain and Ireland's Walker Cup teammate, Mark Power, is on to the round of 32 after a hard-fought one-hole win over Australian Jack Buchanan.

Joe Harvey, a finalist in 2020, was also a winner, defeating Jerry Ji from the Netherlands by a hole. However, there was disappointment for last year’s runner-up at Nairn, Monty Scowsill, who bowed out, 6 and 4, to Aldrich Potgieter from South Africa.

“I know I've got the ability to go all the way,” said Harvey. “I know I'm capable of winning this. It's a case of just one match at a time and playing the best you can. To come here to the championship and see the way it's all set up I felt like, ‘wow, I'm at a proper Tour event’. It's nice to have it set up like this.”

Sweden's Ludvig Åberg, the third-best player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® and AmateurGolf.com's Player of the Year in 2021, continued his momentum after beating Jasper Stubbs from Australia, 4 and 2.

“There's a lot that goes into match play,” Aberg said. “It's a bit different compared to stroke play as you have to keep your ball in front of you, especially on a course like this where par is a good score. If you make 18 pars here you're probably not going to lose a game.

• • • • •

How to Watch

The Royal & Ancient will provide live broadcast coverage of the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Friday, June 17 and the 36-hole final on Saturday on The R&A’s website as well as its YouTube channel.

The Royal & Ancient contributed to this report.

ABOUT THE English Amateur

The English Amateur was played in its inaugural year of 1925 at Hoylake when local golfer T Froes Ellison captured the title. He successfully defended the following year at Walton Heath, a feat achieved by only six others: Frank Pennink, Alan Thirlwell, Michael Bonallack, Harry Ashby, Mark Foster, and Paul Casey. Sir Nick Faldo is the most famous to have won the event as the six-time major champion won the 1975 tournament at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

The tournament consists of two stroke play rounds, after which the top 64 players will advance to the match play rounds, culminating in a 36-hole final between two finalists.

View Complete Tournament Information

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