Mark Allen opened up his 2019 Scottish Open campaign with a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Andy Hicks in Glasgow on Monday.
The Northern Irishman, whose last ranking event success occurred in this event twelve months ago, fought back from 2-0 behind with breaks of 88, 64, and 55.
Allen has played in almost every tournament of the season so far, reaching the semi-finals of five competitions, and admitted to feeling fatigue as the midway point of the campaign approaches.
It was a busy first day of action at the Emirates Arena as the final ranking event of the decade got under way.
Several heavy hitters emerged unscathed, with the likes of former champion Neil Robertson and Mark Selby advancing to the last 64.
Home favourite John Higgins couldn’t muster a break above 50 but still had enough in reserve to outlast Jamie O’Neill 4-1.
Indeed, it’s been a good start so far for the Scottish contingent with Graeme Dott, Anthony McGill, and Scott Donaldson all progressing too.
Dott’s display was particularly impressive as the 2006 world champion hammered Igor Figueirido, outscoring his Brazilian opponent to nil with breaks of 137, 125, 71, and 69.
Elsewhere, the biggest upset of the day saw Barry Hawkins suffer a 4-0 reverse to John Astley.
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Martin Gould each overcame tricky ties on paper by beating Liang Wenbo and Luca Brecel respectively.
Meanwhile, it was back to earth for veteran Nigel Bond, who couldn’t extend his resurgent form beyond his UK Championship quarter-final appearance after a 4-1 loss to Robert Milkins.
Among some of the other familiar names to move forward into the second round were Joe Perry, Ryan Day, Gary Wilson, and 2016 Scottish Open champion Marco Fu.
Quite a few contests lasted the distance with Chris Wakelin, Lu Ning, David Grace, Ian Burns, and Kacper Filipiak all leaving it late.
By contrast, Alexander Ursenbacher thumped Michael Holt in a whitewash display.
On Tuesday, Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and Sunday’s UK Championship winner Ding Junhui enter the fray.