Shanghai Masters champion Kyren Wilson continued his superb form to secure his place at the venue stages of the International Championship.
Wilson, 23, fresh from his first major ranking triumph ten days ago, booked his place in snooker’s biggest ranking event outside Europe with a 6-1 victory over amateur Thor Chuan Leong.
The International Championship will be played between October 25 and November 1 with the winner to receive £125,000, making it the biggest prize in snooker for any event outside the UK.
And world number one Mark Selby’s first return to action since the death of his father-in-law saw him beat Scotland’s Eden Sharav by the same scoreline.
Selby, who withdrew from the Shanghai Masters following the family tragedy, hit breaks of 78 and 118 to avoid a repeat of last year where he failed to qualify for the tournament after a surprise loss to Oliver Lines.
The opening day of qualifying matches at Barnsley’s Metrodome Arena saw both Mark Allen and Michael White survive scares – both winning final frame deciders to claim hard-fought victories.
Allen, who made the semi-finals of the recent Shanghai Masters, held off an impressive comeback from Scott Donaldson to win 6-5 and last season’s Indian Open winner White came back from 5-4 down to beat Alfie Burden.
The day’s biggest casualties saw world number 23 Alan McManus fall to a 6-5 defeat to fellow Scot Ross Muir and world number 36 Mark King suffered a 6-2 loss to Ian Burns.
Former world champion Mark Williams hit more than four breaks of 50+ in a 6-3 win over Nigel Bond and a break of 104 sealed Six Reds World Championship winner Thepchaiya Un-Nooh’s place in the International Championship with a 6-5 win over Hammad Miah.
Elsewhere, Sanderson Lam earned a place at the venue stage of a major ranking event for the first time with a 6-3 win over David Morris and China’s Zhou Yuelong pulled off a fine 6-4 win against Sam Baird.
More qualifiers take place up to Saturday (October 3) with Thursday’s play seeing the likes of Shaun Murphy and Paul Hunter Classic winner Ali Carter in action.
Cao YUPENG 6-2 Liam HIGHFIELD
Andrew HIGGINSON 6-3 Zhang YONG
Joe SWAIL 6-5 Allan TAYLOR
Martin GOULD 6-4 Gareth ALLEN
Chris WAKELIN 6-4 Peter LINES