Last year’s UK Championship finalist Shaun Murphy has been dumped out of the competition in the first round.
Murphy suffered a shock 6-3 loss to China’s Chen Feilong – a player ranked 115 places below him in the world rankings – this afternoon at York’s Barbican Theatre.
The defeat continues a miserable season so far for world number nine Murphy – having now suffered SIX first round defeats in ranking events.
His early exits have come in the UK Championship, the Northern Ireland Open, World Open, Paul Hunter Classic, European Masters and the International Championship.
Murphy did reach the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions but as that is not a ranking event, the prize money he claimed did not count towards his ranking position.
It means Murphy goes into next month’s Scottish Open – the last event of the calendar year – having won only £19,500 since the start of the season. And a place in next year’s World Grand Prix, the Players Championship and the new Tour Championship seriously under threat.
Feilong, 36, who earned professional status earlier this year, has recorded just his second win of the season. His first came with a win against Marco Fu in the recent Northern Ireland Open.
He will next face Martin O’Donnell in round two.
Elsewhere, there was another shock this afternoon as world number 12 Ryan Day crashed out of the competition – losing 6-2 to Leicester’s Joe O’Connor – ranked 121st in the world.
The afternoon also saw nail-biting final frame deciding wins for Joe Swail (beating Michael White) and Tom Ford (who beat Craig Steadman).
The morning’s games saw Stuart Bingham record a whitewash victory over James Wattana.
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