Neil Robertson overcame his opening test as the Scottish Open got under way at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Monday.
The defending champion beat Peter Lines 4-1 to move into the last 64 in the third Home Nations event of the campaign.
Robertson won the Scottish Open title last year in dramatic fashion when he came from 8-4 down to deny China’s Cao Yupeng in a decider to lift the Stephen Hendry Trophy.
Home favourite John Higgins and 2016 champion Marco Fu also progressed, albeit with more taxing 4-3 triumphs against Adam Duffy and Chen Zifan respectively.
Higgins struggled through the pain barrier as he nursed a broken rib to progress to the last 64 but wasn’t too confident of his chances of getting far on home soil.
Fu put the disappointment of dropping out of the top 16 and failing to gain an invitation to the Masters somewhat behind him with a come-from-behind victory over Chen.
The performance of the first day came from Ding Junhui, who compiled a brace of centuries as well as runs of 93 and 66 in thumping fellow Chinese competitor Niu Zhuang – who scored just two points.
Ding doesn’t always enter these Home Nations tournaments but his patchy form of late has perhaps forced his hand as he attempts to build some momentum ahead of the second half of the campaign.
Ding Junhui beats Niu Zhuang. In 47 minutes.#ScottishOpen pic.twitter.com/wp1Nlxd8VD
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) December 10, 2018
Elsewhere, former world champions Shaun Murphy and Graeme Dott safely booked their spots in the second round.
The biggest upsets of the day came in the defeats for Bary Hawkins and Scottish duo Stephen Maguire and Anthony McGill, who failed to maximise the familiar surroundings to their advantage.
Maguire crashed to a 4-1 loss to Billy Joe Castle while McGill’s miserable campaign continued with a 4-2 reverse against Zhang Yong.
Hawkins was involved in a more high-quality affair and was perhaps unlucky to draw the dangerous Zhou Yuelong in the first round, with the young Chinese prevailing in a 4-3 thriller.
Zhou constructed a superb 138 century break in the fourth frame, which stands as the highest of the tournament so far.
Among some of the other names to make it through were former ranking event winners Ali Carter and Michael White.
World Open runner-up David Gilbert beat amateur wildcard Craig MacGillivray 4-2 and there were wins for Yan Bingtao and the in form Martin O’Donnell too.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, who captured the UK Championship for a record seventh time on Sunday, withdrew from the Scottish Open on Monday.
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