Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan survived a comeback from 16-year-old Yan Bingtao to avoid a repeat of his first-round exit at the World Grand Prix last year.
When asked about his relationship with the Guild Hall O’Sullivan explained he “loved” the venue – Preston was the setting for his first UK Championship at the age of 17 back in 1993.
The Rocket stormed into a two-frame lead, including a 137 break in the opener but Bingtao replied to pull the scores level.
The next frame proved to be pivotal one, O’Sullivan coming out on top with the safety exchanges before potting a fluke red which eventually gave him the lead once more.
O’Sullivan recorded the first century of day two and he booked his place in the second round with another to conclude the match.
Anthony McGill moved one step closer to a second major title after a 4-1 win over Englishman David Gilbert – McGill won the Indian Open last year.
Gilbert drew level early on but couldn’t push on and lost the next three frames.
Marco Fu looked to be easing into the next round after taking a 3-1 lead and scoring a century but Jamie Jones threatened an upset with an impressive clear up of 121.
Jones’ hopes of booking a last-16 tie against David Gilbert were soon extinguished as Fu took the next frame to seal the match.
Ali Carter finished off proceedings at the Guild Hall on day two with a 4-3 victory over 19-year-old Zhou Yuelong.