John Higgins was made to battle by Jack Lisowski as he began his defence of his Welsh Open title in Newport.
Scotland's world number one, returning to action after the death of his father earlier this month, came through 4-3 against the Gloucestershire teenager.
Masters champion Ding Junhui was also tested in his opener, going 2-0 down to Marcus Campbell before winning 4-3.
Six-time world championship runner-up Jimmy White was hammered 4-0 by Wales's Ryan Day in the qualifying round.
Lisowski, 19, let Higgins know he was in a game by sneaking the first frame in a flying start featuring some lovely shots.
He was less accurate in the second as Higgins brought it back to 1-1 and the slip-ups continued, allowing the Scot to produce several 50-something breaks to lead 3-1.
Higgins was making mistakes of his own, however, and after a 47 enabled Lisowski to take it to 3-2, the youngster levelled the match.
But the three-time world champion's class told in the end as Lisowski wasted his opportunity and Higgins held on to set up a last-16 clash with Dave Harold, who overcame Ricky Walden 4-3 earlier.
"I'd not picked up a cue, but to play was what my dad would have wanted. I was thinking about him being here last year.
"My mum told me to come down and do my dad proud."
Meanwhile Lisowski told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: "It was 4-3, it was a close game but I did myself justice I think and there's a lot to learn, there's a lot of positives from the game.
"But at the same time I had a chance in the last frame and just screwed it up a little bit, so that's a bit disappointing, but overall loads of positives."
In the early session, China's Ding found himself in trouble against Campbell in their best-of-seven-frames encounter but fought back to triumph 4-3.
In other matches, Ali Carter had to come from 2-1 and 3-2 down before beating Barry Hawkins 4-3, while Mark King was a 4-1 winner over Michael Holt, Matthew Stevens beat Anthony Hamilton 4-2, and Jamie Cope edged past Rory McLeod 4-3.
Results from Monday:
QUALIFYING ROUND (best of 7 frames)
Matthew Stevens (Wal) 4-2 Anthony Hamilton (Eng)
Ryan Day (Wal) 4-0 Jimmy White (Eng)
FIRST ROUND RESULTS (best of 7 frames)
John Higgins (Sco) 4-3 Jack Lisowski (Eng)
Ricky Walden (Eng) 3-4 Dave Harold (Eng)
Ali Carter (Eng) 4-3 Barry Hawkins (Eng)
Ding Junhui (Chn) 4-3 Marcus Campbell (Sco)
Jamie Cope (Eng) 4-3 Rory McLeod (Eng)
Mark King (Eng) 4-1 Michael Holt (Eng)
Todays First Round Matches (best of 7 frames)
1300: Mark Allen (NI) v Rod Lawler (Eng)
1300: Mark Williams (Wal) v Marco Fu (HK)
1400: Peter Ebdon (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Wal)
1400: Mark Selby (Eng) v Stuart Bingham (Eng)
1900: Graeme Dott (Sco) v Jamie Burnett (Sco)
1900: Neil Robertson (Aus) v Nigel Bond (Eng)
Wednesdays First Round Matches (best of 7 frames)
Wed 1300: Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Matthew Stevens (Wal)
Wed 1300: Stephen Hendry (Sco) v Joe Perry (Eng)
Wed 1400: Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Gerard Greene (NI)
Wed 1900: Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v Ryan Day (Wal)
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