There are two preliminary rounds before the main event takes place at the end of January next year.
Shaun Murphy compiled a 147 break en route to a 5-0 hammering of Chen Zifan as the German Masters qualifiers got under way on Tuesday in Milton Keynes.
The “Magician” tallied the perfect sum in the second frame of his comprehensive rout of the Chinese competitor, adding a later run of 87 to complete the one-sided scoreline.
It’s the sixth maximum effort of Murphy’s career, taking him joint-fourth on the all-time list alongside Ding Junhui and Stuart Bingham.
Murphy’s 147 break is the third of the 2020/21 campaign and the 160th overall in the professional game.
The former world champion will face Ian Burns in the second round of the German Masters qualifiers on Friday, with the intention of making a successful return to Berlin’s Tempodrom in the New Year – pending COVID-19 restrictions.
Ding and world number one Judd Trump were among the other marquee names to make it through their opening hurdles.
The latter contributed five big breaks in a 5-2 ousting of Anthony Hamilton, while Ding overcame European Masters runner-up Martin Gould with a 5-3 victory.
Chinese trio Xiao Guodong, Luo Honghao, and Lei Peifan joined their esteemed compatriot in the last 64 – the latter courtesy of an impressive 5-4 defeat of Gary Wilson in which he compiled a brace of century breaks.
Meanwhile, former champion Mark Williams was the biggest casualty of the first day, losing 5-4 to top-up amateur Paul Davison.
However, the Welshman was understandably aggrieved at an incident in the deciding frame at a pivotal point with only one red remaining on the table.
Snookered with the white behind the yellow, Davison played his escape but appeared to simultaneously brush the yellow with his cue.
A foul would have gifted Williams a free-ball situation in which he potentially could have cleared the table to complete the win, but the referee failed to award any penalty – a decision that left Williams dismayed as he eventually lost to the tie to make an early exit.
— MARK WILLIAMS M.B.E (@markwil147) November 10, 2020
Among the others to qualify for the next stage were Barry Hawkins, Ryan Day, Joe Perry, and Mark Davis.
Alan McManus beat Barry Pinches in a veteran’s battle, while Jamie Jones continued his comeback with a 5-0 hiding of Sean Maddocks.
Elsewhere, Mark King, Fraser Patrick, and Riley Parsons were forced to withdraw for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic, while Rod Lawler also pulled out as a result of a back injury.
On Wednesday, the first round in the German Masters qualifiers continues with John Higgins, Stuart Bingham, and Kyren Wilson among those entering the fray.
Click here to view the draw – scheduled times in CET (External Site)
Featured photo credit: WST