Chinese debutant Luo secures unwanted points record

LONDON (Agencies): Chinese teenager Luo Honghao will not forget his debut at the world snooker championships, but for the wrong reasons as he accrued the lowest amount of points in the tournament’s 43-year history.

The 19-year-old — one of a swathe of Chinese cuesmen at the championships — bowed out in the first round, beaten 10 frames to nil by 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy on Monday. His 89 points took the unwanted lowest points record off the hands of Englishman Danny ‘The Dustman’ Fowler, who managed 191 in a 10-1 thrashing by Stephen Hendry in a first-round clash in 1993.

Murphy’s whitewash of Luo is the first since John Parrott beat Australian Eddie Charlton 10-0 in 1992. Luo, who secured qualification for the championships in his maiden season on the circuit, admitted the occasion had got to him but vowed he would return the better for it.

“It’s my first time at the Crucible and it’s a really different feeling,” Luo told the tournament’s official website. “I was very nervous. I’ve never felt like this before because the Crucible is the dream for every player. It is amazing to get here. “I didn’t feel like I was playing a match. I was enjoying the place. After this time I want to improve myself, my technique and my skill.”

“I’m still not good enough to play against the top players, they’re too strong,” added Luo, ranked 92 in the world. Fowler, who retired in 1997 to work on a friend’s maggot farm, was blissfully unaware of his place in the record books — but he has not been erased from them totally. He holds the mark for losing a frame in the fastest time with Maltese Tony Drago living up to his nickname ‘The Tornado’, taking three minutes to win one in their International Open match in 1988.

“If I’d known, I’d have been watching a bit more closely and counting the points,” Fowler told Press Association Sport. “I still like following the game but I didn’t expect to be back in the news.” For Murphy — who plays 2010 champion Neil Robertson in the second round — it was a rare high in a disappointing season. “After the season I have had, never in my wildest dreams did I think I could come here and win 10-0,” said Murphy, who reached the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time since December. “Going out this morning, it was tough to try to put that potential 10-0 to the back of my mind and try to play the right shots.

“Luo is a very talented player and to get to the Crucible in your first pro season is an amazing achievement. “I’m sure he will use this as inspiration. “The arena here can do funny things to the best of us so he should shrug it off and move on.”

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