Jimmy White booked his place in the 2022 UK Championship thanks to a 6-1 rout of Dominic Dale in the final qualifying round on Wednesday.
White, 60, rolled back the years once again to progress to the main stages of the prestigious Triple Crown event 30 years on from winning the title.
The Whirlwind had recorded back-to-back 6-0 whitewashes of Victor Sarkis and Mitchell Mann, before pulling off a huge scalp against 2004 UK Champion Stephen Maguire to reach the final qualifying round at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.
He then thrashed two-time ranking event winner Dale to secure his place in the main draw, becoming the first player aged 60 or over to reach the Last 32 of a ranking tournament since Eddie Charlton back in 1993.
“I’ve been hitting the ball well for quite some time but not had the results,” said White.
“If I didn’t think I could win, I wouldn’t play.
“We are very lucky us snooker players because it’s not like football or boxing, if you’ve got the passion to practice you can still keep your game in fairly good shape.
“I’m not here just to make the numbers up, if I bring my A game I can win the competition.
“I’m down in the rankings because I’m not consistent, but my A game can compete with any of them.
“I’ve always had great support and it’s a pleasure to be amongst these guys. There’s nothing wrong with my game, it’s just mental side with me.”
Despite no breaks of over 50 in the match, White dug deep to dominate the contest against a below-par Dale, meaning he dropped only five frames in his four wins en route to qualification.
He will now take on one of the world’s top 16 ranked players in the main draw at the York Barbican, with the event taking place from November 12-20.
It is the first time White has featured in the Last 32 of the UK Championship since 2010, and he is guaranteed a minimum of £10,000 in prize money.
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— Live Snooker (@Livesnooker) November 9, 2022