Ronnie O'Sullivan produced a lovely break of 88 in his first frame of the new campaign against fellow Englishman Ian Burns before completing a 3-1 win at the Championship League in sweltering conditions in Leicester.
The six-times world champion looked in peak condition as he returned to the green baize for his first competitive match on Tuesday since losing 13-12 to Anthony McGill in the Crucible last 16 in April.
Scott Donaldson beats Jordan Brown to win Group 5 of Championship League
Burns restored parity with a 70 knock in the second before O'Sullivan ran out a comfortable winner by claiming the next two frames with some eye-catching shots.
O'Sullivan also meets Saqib Nasir and Mark Joyce – who he defeated 10-4 in the first round of the World Championship – in the first ranking event of the new campaign.
The winner of Group 32 will reach the last 32 of the Championship League at the city's Morningside Arena.
"That was a pretty stylish way to put a lid on a victory," said commentator Phil Yates. "In the end, the Rocket was good value for his victory."
Donaldson continues strong form to top Group 5 after first day of action
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