Former runner-up Marco Fu crashed out of the International Championship in qualifying
Former runner-up Marco Fu crashed out of the International Championship in qualifying at the Guild Hall on Wednesday.
The world number six became the highest profile casualty of the preliminaries so far in Preston as he succumbed to a 6-4 defeat to Thailand’s Akani Songsersmawad.
The 39 year-old led 3-1 and 4-2 with breaks of 126, 86, and 80, but lost four scrappy frames in succession as his 98th ranked opponent stole the affair.
Fu reached the final of the second edition of the International Championship in 2013, when he was narrowly beaten in a decider by Ding Junhui, but will now not have the opportunity to repeat that run in Daqing in early November.
The remaining higher seeded competitors sailed through on the second day of action.
Neil Robertson scored a 121 break and five further half-centuries as he powered passed Craig Steadman 6-2, while fellow former world champion Mark Williams went one better with a 6-1 drubbing of Boonyarit Kaettikun that included a 129 from the Welshman – who afterwards took to social media to praise the playing conditions.
Meanwhile, Scottish trio Anthony McGill, Stephen Maguire, and Graeme Dott each eased into the last 64.
Maguire was in particularly impressive form as he reeled off a hat-trick of consecutive centuries in ousting Alex Borg 6-3.
David Gilbert, a finalist in this tournament two years ago, pummelled Liam Highfield 6-1 while Xiao Guodong was equally as dominant as he recorded a similar scoreline against Jimmy White.
None of the 13 ties went the distance, so Martin Gould’s 6-4 triumph against Mitchell Mann represented one of the closer encounters.
Ian Burns won three out of the last four frames to enjoy the same margin of victory over Daniel Wells, while elsewhere there were wins for Robert Milkins, David Grace and Martin O’Donnell.
On Thursday, the likes of Shaun Murphy, Mark Allen, and Barry Hawkins enter the fray with Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien up against Zhang Yong of China.