Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump enjoyed whitewash wins to kick off their 2019 UK Championship campaigns in York on Thursday, while Shaun Murphy was sent packing by Eden Sharav.
O’Sullivan, the reigning and back-to-back Betway UK Champion, began his quest for a hat-trick and a record 37th ranking title with a 6-0 demolition of Irish youngster Ross Bulman.
O’Sullivan wasted no time in setting up a Second Round clash with Tian Pengfei as he brushed aside the 18-year-old amateur in little over an hour of playing time.
O’Sullivan opened up with a break of 88 before doubling his lead with a 90, but the key talking point came in the third frame when The Rocket fired in 15 reds and 14 blacks, only to end the hopes of a maximum by opting to play for the pink.
The break eventually ended at 133, and the Shanghai Masters champion went on to add breaks of 66 and 65 in completing the rout.
“It wasn’t easy,” admitted O’Sullivan. “He is a very good prospect but it was hard for him out there playing me.
“I thought I’d better get this over with and catch a meal before they stop serving!”
Trump, the reigning Masters and World Champion, began his quest to complete a rare annual Triple Crown by thrashing Morrocco’s Amine Amiri by the same scoreline.
The world number one blasted in a high break of 125 in the second frame as he extended his opponent’s wait for a first frame win in a professional tournament.
The major upset of the day saw Israel’s Sharav come from 3-1 down to knock out 2008 UK Champion Shaun Murphy 6-4.
Murphy looked to have control at 3-1 up with breaks of 82 and 88, but former Northern Ireland Open semi-finalist Sharav turned the tables with breaks of 54, 70 and 62 for a memorable victory.
Two-time runner-up Mark Allen also came from behind to progress as he reeled off four consecutive frames to overcome 1992 UK Champion Jimmy White 6-3.
White, who has shown signs of a resurgence in recent weeks, led 2-1 with a half century before Allen replied with a 60 break to level.
White, who made his UK Championship debut back in 1984, regained the lead, but Allen found his range and fired in breaks of 64, 129 and 56 in completing the victory.
World Open finalist Thepchaiya Un-Nooh pulled off a superb fightback from 4-1 and 5-2 down to deny Jamie O’Neill in a last-frame decider, while Joe Perry needed an unscheduled second sessio to finally dispatch Germany’s Simon Lichtenberg 6-5.
Fan Zhengyi pulled off a shock 6-4 scalp of his Chinese compatriot Zhou Yuelong, while former Masters Champion Alan McManus started the match with back-to-back centuries on his way to thrashing Elliot Slessor 6-1.
Resident Yorkshieman David Grace, semi-finalist in 2015, enjoyed another memorable day at The York Barbican as he defeated 2018 semi-finalist Tom Ford 6-3.
English Open quarter-finalist Mei Xiwen also needed a second session to see off three-time UK Championship runner-up Ken Doherty 6-3.
Friday sees a break in play before the Second Round gets underway on Saturday afternoon.
Betway UK Championship 2019 Results
Thursday November 28
Xiao Guodong 6-1 Rod Lawler
Yan Bingtao 6-1 Igor Figueiredo
Jack Lisowski 6-2 David Lilley
Robbie Williams 6-3 Luo Honghao
Zhou Yuelong 4-6 Fan Zhengyi
Anthony Hamilton 6-2 Sam Baird
Alan McManus 6-1 Elliot Slessor
Ken Doherty 4-6 Mei Xi Wen
Tom Ford 3-6 David Grace
Shaun Murphy 4-6 Eden Sharav
Mark King 6-5 Chang Bingyu
Michael White 6-2 Fergal O’Brien
Martin O’Donnell 6-4 Kishan Hirani
Kurt Maflin 6-2 Thor Chuan Leong
Joe Perry 6-5 Simon Lichtenberg
Judd Trump 6-0 Amine Amiri
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-0 Ross Bulman
Robert Milkins 6-4 Harvey Chandler
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-5 Jamie O’Neill
Liam Highfield 6-2 Mike Dunn
Mark Allen 6-3 Jimmy White
Ben Woollaston 6-2 Zhang Jiankang
Jimmy Robertson 6-4 Kacper Filipiak
Chris Wakelin 6-3 Ashley Carty