Walden and White out but Reanne Evans progresses in World Championship Qualifiers
Evans faces Lee Walker in her next match (photo: WiSP sports)

World number 22 Ricky Walden and six-time World Championship runner-up Jimmy White were the biggest names to depart after the first round of qualification, as the latter finishes the year outside the top 64, thus losing his Tour card after 37 years on the scene.

End of an era for the Whirlwind

54-year old White is one of the household names of snooker but was unable to see off Jack Lisowski as he was defeated at Ponds Forge. It means White will not be a part of the 2017/18 tour unless he enters Q school or is offered a wildcard. Arguably one of the greatest names never to be World Champion, the Whirlwind is a ten-time ranking event winner.

Ricky Walden qualified automatically for the World Championship last year but was stunned by World number 102 Hammad Miah. Walden managed just two half-century breaks in 17 frames as he lost 10-7.

Hopefuls crash out at the first hurdle

World number 31 Robert Milkins also exited early as he lost to Swiss amateur Alexander Ursenbacher 10-6. Fellow non-professional Peter Lines joined the 20-year old on the right side of a surprise result as he defeated World number 38 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in a final frame decider.

Two-time World Championship runner-up Matthew Stevens was defeated by Lee Walker ranked 49 places below him and another shock came in the form of World number 110 Sydney Wilson defeating Norway's Kurt Maflin ranked 67 places above him. Ian Burns and Zhang Anda also lost to players outside the top 100 and ranked 50 and 38 places below them respectively.

Veterans Stevens and White are both out (photo: Getty Images)
Veterans Stevens and White are both out (photo: Getty Images)

Proud moments for Evans and Wilson

Former Ladies World Champion Reanne Evans hit the headlines as she responded from 4-2 down to defeat Robin Hull 10-8. Current Ladies World Champion Ng On Yee was unable to join her as she was thrashed 10-1 by veteran Nigel Bond.

World number 59 Gary Wilson also had a match to remember and not just because of the rollercoaster outset. Wilson took a 5-0 lead against Josh Boileau before losing seven frames in a row and then clearing his head to win a final frame decider. Though the Englishman's moment in the spotlight came during frame four when he recorded a maximum break, the second of his career and 131st in professional snooker history.

Uphill task for many after disappointing season

Former World Champion Mark Williams overcame a wobble as he fell 7-5 behind to Zhao Xintong before eventually winning 10-7. The Welshman qualified automatically last season but is faced with another two matches to progress, alongside the likes of Stephen Maguire, Michael White, Martin Gould and Joe Perry.

Former World Champions Ken Doherty, Peter Ebdon and Graeme Dott also progressed, as did recent ranking event winners Mark King and Anthony Hamilton. Notable mentions also go to top 50 players Jamie Jones and Yu Delu who failed to drop a frame in their opening matches.

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