Jimmy White overcame leading women’s player Reanne Evans as the first round of the 2019 Snooker Shoot-Out got under way on Thursday in Watford.
The 56 year-old had been paired with the 11-time world champion, who became the first woman to feature at the TV stages of a ranking event, in a grandstand opening night clash.
With each match contested over just a single frame that includes shot clocks and other variations on the traditional game, there was sufficient reason to believe that the Englishwoman could go on a run in the tournament.
Evans was just a few points behind with about 90 seconds remaining when she missed a pot to the middle pocket, allowing White to pounce with a break of 21 to seal victory and move into the random draw for Saturday’s last 64.
Well that was different. Enjoyed it even if I miscued 🤷♀️🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴 thanks for all the messages really appreciated 🤗
— reanne evans (@evans_reanne) February 22, 2019
Meanwhile, Kyren Wilson was among the bigger names to make it through his opening test.
The recent German Masters champion came from 60 points behind to deny Ian Burns by a single point in one of the more dramatic affairs.
Former champions Barry Hawkins and Michael White safely progressed to the second round too, as did defending champion Michael Georgiou with the Cypriot beating Peter Ebdon in the first game of the competition.
Ricky Walden fired in a magnificent 132 century break – only the 14th ton compiled in the tournament’s history since its inception in 2011 – to thump 12 year-old wildcard Liam James Davies.
However, 14 year-old Belgian Ben Mertens enjoyed a dramatic 60-59 triumph over former world number three James Wattana as the Thai ran out of time with the hooter sounding for the end of the ten-minute frame.
Ali Carter, Alan McManus, Jimmy Robertson, and Joe Swail were among a few of the other names to avoid an early exit.
China’s Zhao Xintong, one of only four players who could still break into the top 16 in the one-year rankings list in time for the upcoming Players Championship, won his first tie.
But Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham’s challenge ended with a 34-5 defeat to Daniel Wells.
The Snooker Shoot-Out incorporates a series of 10-minute frames, with the first five minutes allowing 15 second per shot and the remaining five minutes permitting only 10 seconds per shot.
Competitors lag to see who breaks off, fouls result in the ball-in-hand rule, while another change in the rules means that all shots must use a cushion if no ball has been potted.
The remaining first round fixtures take place on Friday with the likes of Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, and David Gilbert in action.
Live coverage continues on Eurosport.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)
💬 “You’ve just got to blank it out and do your job in front of you.”@jimmywhite147 reacts to his win amid a raucous @BetVictor Shoot Out atmosphere in his clash with 11-time women’s World Champion Reanne Evans.#ClockIsTicking pic.twitter.com/qObiSPnqAm
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) February 21, 2019