The Englishman has won 20 of his last 22 match play ties and saw off the challenge of Denmark’s Frederik Birkelund with a convincing 8&6 win to continue his knockout form.
Gough also won the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St Annes in May and can emulate Sir Michael Bonallack by winning The Amateur and Lytham Trophy in the same year. Only Bonallack has achieved that feat after he won the 1965 Lytham Trophy and then triumphed in that year’s Amateur at Royal Porthcawl.
“Match play seems to be treating me well,” he 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.”
Leading qualifier Jonathan Broomhead from South Africa continued his title bid, beating home club member Callan Barrow by one hole.
He said, “I’m very happy with the win. 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. There were a lot of people walking with us and I knew most of them were walking and supporting Callan.”
However, there was disappointment for another English player, Barclay Brown. The Walker Cup player was beaten 4&3 by 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.”