Ronnie O'Sullivan through to face Jimmy White at Northern Ireland Open

Five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was an easy first round winner at the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast
Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan scored two centuries in his first-round win

Ronnie O'Sullivan will face old friend Jimmy White in a rare encounter after they both won first-round matches at the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.

The English pair meet on Wednesday (19:00 GMT) after White beat Gareth Allen 4-2 and five-time world champion O'Sullivan defeated David John 4-1.

Four-time world champion John Higgins beat Paul Davison 4-0, while Shaun Murphy lost 4-0 to Belgian Luca Brecel.

Northern Ireland's Jordan Brown pulled off a 4-2 win over Ben Woollaston.

Englishman Woollaston is the world number 22 and ranked 97 places higher than Brown.

Barry Hawkins had a 4-0 win over English compatriot Martin O'Donnell in the Titanic Exhibition Centre, with Welshman Michael White beating Scotland's Graeme Dott by the same scoreline.

White, 54, is a six-time world championship runner-up but has slipped to 108 in the world rankings. He will be facing 40-year-old O'Sullivan in a ranking event for the first time since 2010.

Victory for Scotland's Higgins, recent winner of the China Championship and Champion of Champions events, extended his winning run to nine matches.

The winner of the inaugural NI Open will receive the trophy named after Northern Ireland's two-time world champion Alex Higgins, who died in 2010.