Mark Williams makes winning start in Welsh Open

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Mark Williams put his feud with fellow Welsh player Darren Morgan to one side as he made a winning start to his Welsh Open campaign.

Williams, accused by Morgan of “cyber-bullying” after questioning his compatriot’s right to a place in the tournament, beat Mark King 4-2 on a day which saw Shaun Murphy become a notable first-round casualty.

Murphy was surprisingly beaten 4-0 by Northern Irish veteran Gerard Greene while John Higgins won 4-2 against Matthew Selt, Stephen Maguire beat Joe Perry by the same score and Matthew Stevens enjoyed a 4-1 success against Ken Doherty.

Kyren Wilson was impressive in beating Robert Milkins 4-1 and went close to a 147, missing the 14th black as he played an over-ambitious positional shot.

It may have taken a maximum to capture the attention from Williams, who made two centuries in a good win but had other issues to deal with in his post-match interview.

Mark Williams has angered Darren Morgan
Mark Williams has angered Darren Morgan (Martin Rickett/PA)

Williams tweeted that Morgan should “count himself lucky” to receive a wild card – along with fellow home player Rhydian Richards, who won the pair’s pre-qualifier – and described him in another post as “tha fella who used to impersonate a snooker player about 30 years ago”.

He avoided escalating the situation further after his match and said: “It’s probably best for me not to make any comment.

“You’ve (Morgan) said what you’ve said, everyone can read it, and I’d just rather talk about the match today and how well I played – and how well I’ve been playing all season.”

Morgan secured his place by winning an amateur event in January, the Robert Harhhy Memorial, beating 16-year-old Jackson Page in the final.

Williams claimed Page, who was later handed a place in the Welsh Open draw due to Joe Swail’s withdrawal, should have been entitled to a wild card in the first instance.

Morgan, speaking to BBC Sport Wales, said of Williams: “I know he’s fighting Jackson’s corner but he’s a total joke.

“Where he thinks it’s banter, to a lot of people it’s cyber-bullying… he is abusing his position.

“He’s a bully. He’s a keyboard warrior… but he gets away with it.”

Morgan’s World Championship semi-final appearance came in 1994, when he lost to Jimmy White.

Press Association Sport understands no disciplinary action has been taken at this stage over the claims from Morgan.

Martin Gould, Anthony McGill, Luca Brecel, Kurt Maflin, Ben Woollaston and Robbie Williams were among Tuesday’s other winners, while Page beat Sean O’Sullivan 4-3 on Monday.

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