Amateur Zhao Xintong produced the performance of the day as the Far East contingent made waves during Thursday's action.
Eastern promise in Sheffield
The 19 year old from China has shown glimpses of his potential this season, but produced the performance of his career with a final frame victory over Rod Lawler in a rollercoaster contest. A break of 123 was the highlight for Xintong, as he stunned the world number 44.
Although female hopeful Ng On Yee did not last long in her 10-1 defeat to Peter Lines, it was a reasonably good day for the players from the Eastern side of the globe. World number 115 Zhang Yong stunned the experienced Joe Swail, ranked 64 places above him. The 20 year old completed a 123 break in the ninth frame on his way to victory.
Thailand's Noppon Saengkham produced a slight upset when he defeated Michael Georgiou ranked nine places above him, whilst China's Li Hang saw off compatriot Lu Chenwei, despite missing a chance of a maximum break. Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh had to grit his teeth after allowing fellow Thai Akani Songsermsawad back into the game at 6-2, before grinding out a deciding frame despite the 81 place ranking difference.
Yet it was not all plain sailing for the players from the Far East, as world number 45 Tian Pengfei crashed out to Iran's Hossein Vafaei Ayouri, losing 10-7 to the man ranked 53 places below him.
Greene paints over White
A couple of outsiders gave the first qualifying round a good effort but eventually just fell short. 18 year old Brandon Sargeant pushed former champion Graeme Dott all the way in a 10-8 defeat, whilst Jimmy White, 35 years Sargeant's senior, would have been disappointed to lose to Gerard Greene after finding himself 9-7 ahead against the man ranked 50 places above the six time runner-up. Amateur Hammad Miah also dropped the same advantage against world number 61 Stuart Carrington as his dreams faded late into the night.
Michael Holt gave himself a scare after being 9-0 up between sessions, before losing six consecutively frames to Michael Wild until he eventually sealed the victory. Jimmy Robertson hammered amateur Tyler Rees 10-0 and is the only player to qualify without dropping a frame so far, whilst Kyren Wilson, Matthew Stevens and Ryan Day all produced comfortable victories.
Kurt Maflin, David Grace, Scott Donaldson, David Morris, Ken Doherty and Alan McManus complete Thursday's list of victors, as Ponds Forge prepares itself for the second set of first round qualifiers on Friday and over the weekend.