Masters champion Stuart Bingham hit the eighth maximum of his career as John Higgins made a flying start to the new snooker year at the Championship League in Milton Keynes.

Higgins had come from 2-1 behind to edge out Bingham 3-2 in their Group 1 opener with four-times world champion Higgins finishing with a run of 81 after Bingham compiled 83 in the third frame.

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Higgins continued his fine run of trademark heavy scoring form with a 3-0 win over 2019 World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson that included a sparkling 137 break, a 3-1 win over Michael Holt prompting runs of 74, 64 and 73 and a 3-2 win over fellow Scot and 2006 world champion Graeme Dott boosted by a 60 and 105 to finish the day with four wins out of four and maximum points.

Bingham is second on two points from three matches as he pieced together 99 and 78 in a 3-2 win over Holt and a stunning 147 in the second frame of a 3-0 victory over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

It was the 165th maximum break in the history of the sport after Bingham – who begins the defence of his Masters title against Un-Nooh next Monday – also contributed the 163rd in a 6-2 win over Zak Surety in the first round of the UK Championship in November.

Dott joined Bingham on two points from three matches with a 3-2 win over Zhou Yuelong and a 3-2 win over Wilson from 2-0 down.

The top four players will contest the play-offs, semi-finals and final over the best-of-five frames as the action continues on Tuesday.

Confirmed schedule

Group 1

January 4 - 12:30

  • John Higgins 3-2 Stuart Bingham
  • John Higgins 3-0 Gary Wilson
  • Stuart Bingham 3-2 Michael Holt
  • Michael Holt 1-3 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Zhou Yuelong 2-3 Graeme Dott
  • Gary Wilson 2-3 Graeme Dott

January 4 - 18:00

  • John Higgins 3-1 Michael Holt
  • Michael Holt 1-3 Gary Wilson
  • Gary Wilson 3-2 Zhou Yuelong
  • Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 2-3 Zhou Yuelong
  • Stuart Bingham 3-0 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • John Higgins 3-2 Graeme Dott

January 5 - 12:30

  • Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Graeme Dott
  • Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Gary Wilson
  • Stuart Bingham v Gary Wilson
  • John Higgins v Zhou Yuelong
  • Stuart Bingham v Zhou Yuelong
  • Michael Holt v Zhou Yuelong
  • Michael Holt v Graeme Dott

January 5 - 18:00

  • Stuart Bingham v Graeme Dott
  • John Higgins v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Play-offs: January 5

  • TBC v TBC
  • TBC v TBC

Final: January 5

  • TBC v TBC

Group 2

January 6-7

  • Match schedule TBC

Group 3

January 8-9

  • Match schedule TBC

Group 4

January 8-9

  • Match schedule TBC

Group 5

January 10-11

  • Match schedule TBC

Group 6

January 12-13

  • Match schedule TBC

Group 7

March 29-30

  • Match schedule TBC

Winners' group

March 31 - April 1

  • Match schedule TBC

Player list

  • John Higgins
  • Stuart Bingham
  • Mark Williams
  • Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Gary Wilson
  • Zhou Yuelong
  • Graeme Dott
  • Kyren Wilson
  • David Gilbert
  • Scott Donaldson
  • Mark Selby
  • Neil Robertson
  • Barry Hawkins
  • Judd Trump
  • Yan Bingtao
  • Jack Lisowski
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • Joe Perry
  • Ali Carter
  • Matthew Selt
  • Kurt Maflin
  • Michael Holt
  • Tom Ford
  • Anthony McGill
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