JIMMY White makes his long-awaited first appearance at the Benson and Hedges Snooker Championship in Malvern today when a full house will watch his showdown with top teenager Stephen Maguire.

The Whirlwind blew into Malvern last night for this third appearance at the Willie Thorne Snooker Club since the competition moved down from Scotland.

The 38-year-old Londoner is the highest ranked player in the field and his form so far this season marks him out as an outstanding favourite for the trophy and a £5,000 first prize next Thursday.

But White had better beware as the tournament has already seen a number of shocks. James Wattana, Neal Foulds, and Mark King have already gone out.

King, ranked 22 in the world, lost 5-3 to world number 189 Barry Hawkins from London, Wattana perished 5-2 against Craig Harrison, the world number 109, while Foulds won just one frame against Sean Storey of Grimsby.

Bewdley's Richard King goes for a hat-trick of wins tonight when he meets Rugeley's Troy Shaw.

Tomorrow it's the turn of Alfrick's Dave Finbow against European amateur champion Craig Butler from Leeds.