York teenager Liam Pullen grabs his big break in China
The 18-year-old rookie – the English Under-18 champion – beat world No 22 Noppon Saengkham 6-5 in Tianjin.
Pullen – in his first season on the professional circuit – had to beat former world champion Graeme Dott just to qualify for the trip to China.
But breaks of 91, 81, 56 and 51 saw him edge out Thailand’s Saengkham.
“Unreal,” said Pullen. “To come a long way to play a game, there’s pressure.
“I felt good out there, felt comfortable.
“In the decider I have missed the red on 51, I should have hit it more positively and come off the cushion.
“We both missed a few balls through the game, but I thought ‘just stay positive, a chance will come’.
“There’s no easy games, you’re always playing someone good, every game is tough.”
Next up today for Pullen is China’s Zhang Anda, who knocked out Mark Williams in the previous round.
Elsewhere, Neil Robertson is out, the Australian losing 6-1 to Daniel Wells, world champion Luca Brecel lost 6-3 to Mark Davis, the same scoreline which saw Shaun Murphy go down to against Dominic Dale.
Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Mark Joyce 6-3.