JIMMY WHITE took an important step towards safeguarding his professional status by beating David Morris 5-2 in the last 64 of the China Open in Beijing on Monday.
White had headed to China 63rd in the provisional prize money ranking list, with the top 64 remaining on the circuit after the World Championship.
The 51 year-old Londoner was under pressure when he missed the blue at the end of the third frame when clearing up to lead 3-0. Ireland’s Morris then made a 129 break to level at 2-2 at the interval.
However, the 15 minute intermission seemed to calm White’s nerves and he responded well, making a 72 break to win the fifth, dominating the sixth and killing off the tightly contested seventh to secure a meeting with Alfie Burden in the last 32.
Mike Dunn shaded a close match with Peter Lines 5-4 to bolster his chances of tour survival and James Wattana gave his hopes a boost with a 5-0 defeat of Mark Joyce.
His fellow Thai Thepchaiya Un Nooh produced breaks of 67, 59, 81, 61 and 69 to beat 1997 world champion Ken Doherty 5-0 in just 53 minutes.
Barry Hawkins, who won the Players Championship on Saturday night, and Mark Allen joined the growing list of withdrawals. Stuart Bingham, Stephen Maguire and Tony Drago had all pulled out last week.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.