Defending champion Mark Williams beat Fan Zhengyi 5-3 in the first qualifying round of the German Masters on Wednesday in Barnsley.
The Welshman was made to work hard for his victory but finished strongly with breaks of 119 and 135 in the last two frames finally dispatching the Chinese’s challenge.
Williams will face countryman Jak Jones next at the Metrodome, where a place in the venue stages at the Tempodrom in late January will be at stake.
It was generally a good day for the higher seeds as the first qualifying round continued in what is the final piece of snooker action this calendar year.
Shaun Murphy bounced back from his narrow defeat to Mark Allen in Sunday’s Scottish Open final by beating the much-improved Martin O’Donnell.
The “Magician” produced an immaculate display of power scoring, reeling off a fantastic four century breaks to set up a meeting with Jimmy White – who beat Harvey Chandler.
Barry Hawkins constructed a excellent 143 total clearance in hammering Michael White 5-1 while Ding Junhui went one better as he whitewashed veteran Nigel Bond in a one-sided affair.
Australia’s Neil Robertson repeated that scoreline against Jamie Clarke and new top 16 member Jack Lisowski threw in a trademark fast performance in overcoming Mark Joyce 5-1.
A couple of the notable casualties in the first qualifying round included the early demises of Anthony McGill and Anthony Hamilton.
Scot McGill’s dreadful 2018/19 campaign continued as he was edged in a decider on the final black by Jordan Brown.
Hamilton, meanwhile, fell to a 5-1 reverse against Luo Honghao and, with the ranking points for his 2017 German Masters triumph coming off his tally, the “Sheriff” is set to slip down below the top 50 in the world standings.
Elsewhere, Liang Wenbo scored a brace of centuries and won the last three frames to pip Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-4.
Fellow Chinese competitors Xiao Guodong, Li Hang, Zhao Xintong, and Yuan Sijun all advanced as well courtesy of more comfortable outings.
UK Championship semi-finalist Tom Ford got back to winning ways with a 5-2 victory over Joe O’Connor while Stuart Carrington, Gary Wilson, and Chris Wakelin also made it beyond the opening hurdle.
James Cahill, who stunned world number one Mark Selby in York earlier this month, and fellow Englishman Kuldesh Johal earned two victories as amateur top-ups – beating Basem Eltahhan and Zhang Yong respectively.
Among the others to progress were Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien, Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham, and Germany’s own Lukas Kleckers.
The first qualifying round will conclude on Thursday before the second and final round gets under way.