Jimmy White reached the last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time since the 2012 Gdynia Open with a hat-trick of wins at the Victoria Bulgarian Open in Sofia.
Veteran White didn’t arrive in the Bulgarian capital until 3am on Friday morning, but that didn’t stop him beating Sydney Wilson 4-1, Dechawat Poomjaeng 4-2 and James Cahill 4-2 to book a place in Sunday’s concluding stages.
“It was a tough day but I played well, in the last match I could have beaten anyone,” said Whirlwind White, who made a break of 100 against Wilson and a 94 against Cahill.
“I have been practising hard and there’s a lot of determination. My target for this season is to stay in the top 64 and keep my tour place. I know I’ll get invitations if I drop off the tour, but I don’t want that yet.”
World Champion Mark Selby had three tricky matches but survived, beating Barry Pinches 4-3, Joe Swail 4-2 and Fraser Patrick 4-3.
Belgium’s Luca Brecel enjoyed a fine trio of wins, beating Mark Joyce 4-1 in the last 32 with top breaks of 76 and 71.
Shaun Murphy saw off Stephen Maguire 4-2 in the last 32 while Mark Davis was a 4-1 winner over Elliot Slessor.
Robbie Williams came from 2-1 down to beat Matthew Selt 4-2 with a top run of 78 while Mark King top scored with 75 in a 4-2 defeat of Anthony McGill.