SHAUN MURPHY dealt a blow to Jimmy White’s hopes of tour survival by beating the Whirlwind 5-1 in the last 64 of the Haikou World Open on Tuesday.
Murphy began the match with a break of 128 and was 4-0 up after only 52 minutes. White compiled his highest break of the match, 69, in winning the fifth frame but Murphy made 62 early in the sixth and later did enough to wrap up a comfortable victory.
White headed to China 60th in the provisional prize money rankings, with only the top 64 guaranteed tour cards for next season, although White has qualified for the China Open.
Ding Junhui, chasing a fifth world ranking title this season, advanced with a 5-1 victory over his fellow Chinese, Li Yan.
Ding, winner of the Shanghai Masters, Indian Open, International Championship and German Masters during the campaign, lost the first frame on the black but sank pink and black to win the fourth and enter the interval leading 3-1.
A fine 128 – Ding’s 57th century of the season – made it 4-1 and he won a scrappier sixth frame to reach the last 32.
Anthony McGill made the highest break of the tournament so far but was still beaten 5-3 by Marco Fu.
McGill was trailing 4-1 when he constructed a 144 total clearance. He then made 74 in the seventh frame and led 50-0 in the eighth but Fu cleared with 64 for victory.
Mark Williams, winner of six ranking titles in Asia, including three in China, defeated wildcard Yuan Sijun 5-1.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.