Sam Craigie produced a stunning fightback from 3-0 down to stun Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-3 in the opening round of the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor Resort on Tuesday.
The world number 51 appeared to be on the verge of a swift exit in Newport as the Thai Rocket raced to within a frame of victory.
Un-Nooh – chasing a return to the top 16 with the World Championship on the horizon – went close to achieving a 147 break along the way, breaking down on 120 after rattling the yellow in the jaws of the corner pocket.
Craigie, who has reached the last 32 of this event twice in the last three years, then trailed 51-0 in the following frame, but a timely run of 58 kept his hopes alive.
The Newcastle cueist followed that with breaks of 73 and 54 set up a decider, which he controlled to secure the most unlikely of wins.
World number 11 Jack Lisowski also prevailed in a deciding frame against Lei Peifan, while home favourite Ryan Day came from behind on three separate occasions before producing a stunning 141 total clearance to advance at the expense of Ian Burns.
Two-time World finalist Ali Carter also trailed three times against Daniel Wells, before a run of 63 saw him over the line.
Elsewhere, Ronnie O’Sullivan raced through to the second round after a commanding 4-0 whitewash of Robbie Williams.
The Rocket hit breaks of 56, 122, 66 and 73 to set up a mouth-watering clash with Jimmy White, who received a bye following the withdrawal of Mark Joyce through illness.
World number 18 Zhou Yuelong also reeled off four frames without reply against Ashley Carty – with breaks of 118 and 126 along the way – as did former Crucible semi-finalist David Gilbert against Rory McLeod to book a second-round date with 17-year-old Jamie Wilson, who recovered from 3-1 down to overcome Duane Jones 4-3.
Meanwhile, Masters champion Yan Bingtao produced back-to-back centuries in his comfortable 4-1 win over compatriot Xu Si – the same scoreline that saw Mark Williams sweep aside fellow Welshman Michael White.
The three-time Crucible winner will take on Liam Highfield, who edged past Jamie Curtis-Barrett on the colours earlier in the day.
A neat 103 was the highlight of Kyren Wilson’s 4-2 success against Chen Zifan.
The 2020 finalist’s quest to go one step better in this event continues tomorrow against Alan McManus, who whitewashed Tian Pengfei 4-0.
However, there was no joy for 2017 Welsh Open winner Stuart Bingham as he was ousted 4-2 by Robert Milkins, who had runs of 56, 72 and 69 along the way.
Welsh Open Snooker 2021 Results
Tuesday February 16
2 Stuart Carrington 4-1 Soheil Vahedi
3 Ryan Day 4-3 Ian Burns
10 Kurt Maflin 0-w/o Ken Doherty
13 Jamie Clarke 0-4 Oliver Lines
38 Jamie Curtis-Barrett 3-4 Liam Highfield
40 Lu Ning 3-4 Dylan Emery
43 Sunny Akani 4-1 Igor Figueiredo
44 Jack Lisowski 4-3 Lei Peifan
41 Ricky Walden 4-1 Jackson Page
42 Graeme Dott 4-2 Billy Joe Castle
28 Stuart Bingham 2-4 Robert Milkins
37 Mark Williams 4-1 Michael White
46 Tom Ford 4-0 Peter Devlin
52 Fergal O’Brien 2-4 Aaron Hill
47 Tian Pengfei 0-4 Alan McManus
50 Ben Woollaston w/o Alex Borg
54 Nigel Bond 4-2 Rod Lawler
60 David Gilbert 4-0 Rory McLeod
64 Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-0 Robbie Williams
51 Ali Carter 4-3 Daniel Wells
55 Scott Donaldson 4-2 Gao Yang
56 Gerard Greene 4-3 Farakh Ajaib
21 Yan Bingtao 4-1 Xu Si
26 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 3-4 Sam Craigie
32 Neil Robertson 0-/wo Mark King
57 Anthony Hamilton 4-3 Ben Hancorn
59 Jamie Wilson 4-3 Duane Jones
61 Jimmy Robertson 4-1 Kacper Filipiak
48 Kyren Wilson 4-2 Chen Zifan
58 Zhou Yuelong 4-0 Ashley Carty
62 Martin Gould 4-0 Mitchell Mann
63 Mark Joyce 0-w/o Jimmy White