Lines arrived at the York Barbican in the throws of an impressive debut season on the professional tour, having toppled world champion Mark Selby in September’s International Championship qualifiers and reached a tournament final in Haining last month.
However, he didn’t take his first steps towards another memorable tournament on Thursday, instead slipping to a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Yu Delu.
Lines went into the interval 4-0 down and despite claiming two frames to offer himself a glimmer of hope, the 19-year-old was eventually felled at the first hurdle.
“I’ve been practising well and I’ve been playing well but I’ve just come here and couldn’t get going, really,” said Lines.
“I wasn’t overawed by the big stage, I just struggled form start to finish and I’m not really too sure why yet, but I’ll figure it out.
“I played more safeties that I went for pots for the first four frames.
“I had a few chances in the first frame but he played quite well after that – I just missed too many balls.
“I never really felt good out there and I never really felt like I could come back at any point.
“The season has gone alright so far.
“This has obviously put a downer on it but I have just got to get practising and make sure I’m better when it comes to playing the next tournament.
“I’m off to the Lisbon Open next but I haven’t really thought about it yet.
“I’ll just get back to practice and then see how I can do in Portugal.”
Earlier in the day Lines had watched dad Peter secure his safe passage into the last 64, beating Joe Swail 6-4.
That victory set the 44-year-old up for a potential showdown with five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan tomorrow night in a primetime slot in front of the BBC cameras – though ‘The Rocket’ has threatened to pull out of the competition on account of a broken ankle.
“I watched him play before my game and I think that’s what put me off,” joked Lines Jr. “I’ll come and watch him against Ronnie at the weekend.
“But I’d rather he got a bye – he gets an extra £6,000.
“He has beaten him two out of two so hopefully he can do it again.”
Yesterday was a rest day in York, with the second round commencing this morning with some enticing games,
World champion Mark Selby takes on Davis Morris, but it is the meeting between veteran Jimmy White and Ding Junhui which should prove an attractive clash.
Sheffield-based Ding, like many from the last few decades, grew up as a fan of the Whirlwind.
“I watched a lot of Jimmy White when I was a little boy,” said the 27-year-old, twice a winner of the UK title.
“He has a lot of fans in China. He used to play very quick.”
Other games today include Judd Trump against Aditya Mehta, another player with strong links to the Star Academy in Sheffield, while Barry Hawkins faces Derbyshire’s Nigel Bond.
Tomorrow, it’s the turn of the two remaining Yorkshire players left in the tournament. Eight cued off in the first round, but just Peter Lines and Sheffield’s Joel Walker remain.
Walker provided one of the upsets of the opening three days as the world No 105 overcame veteran Alan McManus 6-1.
The 20-year-old Steel City potter – who reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 Welsh Open – takes on Tom Ford tomorrow evening. Ford, a 31-year-old from Leicestershire, beat Barry Pinches 6-4.
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