Ricky Walden took seven points from a possible nine as he topped Group 15 of the Championship League on Tuesday in Leicester.
The three-time former ranking event winner began the day with a 3-1 victory over returning pro Andy Lee, a recent Q School graduate.
A draw against Gerard Greene followed, and there were many permutations going into the last round of fixtures.
But Walden dispelled any such fears of missing out by duly overcoming Jackson Page with a 3-1 scoreline to finish in first place.
The Englishman, currently the world no. 18, will be hoping to replicate the kind of form from last season that saw him bounce back up the rankings list.
Xiao Guodong was even more dominant in Group 32, meanwhile, with the Chinese competitor claiming victory in all three of his round-robin ties.
The 33 year-old recorded a hat-trick of 3-1 triumphs, first against Rod Lawler before adding similar successes over Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Scott Donaldson.
Xiao scored heavily throughout the day, notably in his opening couple of affairs in which he compiled a brace of century breaks.
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Both Ricky Walden and Xiao Guodong will next participate in Stage Two of the Championship League, which will take place towards the end of July at the Morningside Arena.
The long-lasting Stage One continues on Wednesday with two more groups.
Barry Hawkins fronts Group 9 alongside veteran former world champion Ken Doherty and Chinese pair Yuan Sijun and Lei Peifan.
In Group 30, 2006 world champion Graeme Dott has Lyu Haotian, Fraser Patrick, and Haydon Pinhey for company.
Live coverage is available on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and Ireland, and by various other means around the world.
Click here to view the draw (times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST