FIRST-YEAR professional Rhys Clark believes that a first round victory at the China Open could be the catalyst for him to kickstart his career after a tough time on the tour.

The 21-year-old from Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, kept his cool to see off experienced Englishman Mark Davis in a final frame decider at Beijing University yesterday.

Clark had lost all five of his previous first round matches at ranking events, but the former Scottish Under-21 champion has billed this victory as one of the finest of his fledgling career so far.

“Mark is the highest ranked player I've ever beaten so it's definitely one of my best results,” he said.

“At the moment every game is tough for me so I'm just trying to win as many as possible.

“I can get some confidence from a win against someone like Mark Davis. That's the most helpful thing for me at the moment getting the confidence for the World Championship qualifiers.”

The pair shared the first four frames before Clark pulled away with breaks of 76 and 74 to go within one of victory.

Davis dug deep to make 57 and 91 and force a final frame decider, but Clark showed nerves of steel to sink a match-winning 67 break, setting up a second round meeting with Alfie Burden today.

Anthony McGill's stuttering season continued as he fell to a 5-3 defeat at the hands of Jimmy Robertson.

McGill slotted in a century break in frame two but soon found himself 4-1 behind at Robertson rattled in runs of 89, 64, 68 and 81.

Breaks of 72 and 76 clawed him back into contention but Robertson rounded off the win to leave McGill struggling for form ahead of the upcoming World Championship qualifiers.

All four remaining Scots are in second round action today, with world No 7 John Higgins keen to produce at the last event before the season finale at Sheffield's iconic Crucible Theatre next month.

“It's a big tournament because everyone wants to do well,” said the four-time world champion, who takes on Mark Joyce today.

“The World Championship is around the corner so it's always a very special tournament to try and find your game and give yourself confidence.”

Stephen Maguire goes up against Jack Lisowksi, whilst 2007 winner Graeme Dott does battle with Chinese youngster Yuan Sijun, who stunned Martin Gould 5-0 in the opening round.