The Englishman had a 100% record in his group.
David Gilbert won all three of his round-robin fixtures to comfortably advance from Stage One of the Championship League on Thursday in Leicester.
The 40 year-old began Group 30 with a 3-1 victory against amateur Sanderson Lam and subsequently backed it up with consecutive 3-0 successes over Jamie Wilson and Liam Highfield.
Last season was a difficult one for the Angry Farmer, whose world ranking plummeted from a high of number 11 at the beginning to outside the top 16 by its climax, so he’ll be pleased to get this new term off to a positive start.
In Group 11, David Lilley was a somewhat surprising table topper as the amateur collected seven points to place ahead of the highest seed Zhao Xintong.
Lilley snatched a point with Zhao early on that set him up nicely for the rest of the day, and he capitalised with back-to-back triumphs over Joe O’Connor and Andy Hicks.
The two Davids, Gilbert and Lilley, will rejoin the Championship League action next week, with Stage One finally set to conclude on Friday after a laborious three weeks at the Morningside Arena.
World number one Judd Trump enters the fray in Group 1 alongside Anthony Hamilton, Lee Walker, and amateur Rod Lawler, while Group 5 features Mark Allen, Chris Wakelin, Mitchell Mann, and Daniel Womersley.
Despite the short format, three-time Championship League winner Trump will be among the favourites for glory in the event, and there is a bet365 bonus code for betting here if you fancy backing the former world champion.
What is the Championship League?
The Championship League has been on the calendar in some way, shape, or form since 2008, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it has been intermittently staged as a ranking event.
On this occasion, there are three stages to the month-long competition with 128 players initially split into 32 round-robin groups comprising four players in each.
The 32 group winners advance to Stage Two, before the next eight group winners determine the competitors who feature in Stage Three, with all matches lasting just four frames.
The two players who win their third and final groups will subsequently contest the outright final, with the winner set to earn £33,000 from the total prize fund.
Where to Watch the Championship League
There will be two tables available to watch on each day of the group stages, with the snooker available across Ireland and the UK on FreeSports in addition to the Matchroom.Live’s snooker streaming service.
There are various other TV broadcast options around the world, which you can view by clicking here.
Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST