HONG KONG'S Marco Fu was yesterday compared to Thai snooker ace James Wattana Pu-Ob-Orm after he reached the first round proper of the GBP280,000 Thailand Masters in Bangkok. Britain's world number 37 Jason Ferguson, who was beaten 5-2 by Fu in a qualifying match, said Hong Kong's world amateur champion was the 'best player to come out of Asia' since Wattana. 'He looks to have the potential to become a top-16 player - if not better,' added Ferguson. 'It's a long way to come to lose in the wild-card round, but I can't take anything away from Marco, he was superb.' Wattana, a former world amateur champion himself, went on to become a top-16 player after only his first year on the professional circuit. Fu, who also won the under-21 world title last year, was playing against leading snooker professionals for the first time. He opened up a 3-0 lead in the space of just 51 minutes with breaks of 49, 53, 72 and 77. Ferguson took the next two frames, the fifth after requiring a snooker, but further runs of 45 and 100 swept Fu to victory. Fu's reward was a last-32 meeting with John Parrott, the 1991 world champion, at the Imperial Queens Park Hotel on Tuesday. 'All the pressure was on Jason; he's the established player. I'm just here for the experience and to enjoy myself,' said Fu, who was educated in Vancouver, Canada. 'This is the first time I have come up against the top players and it's going to be a good test for me. 'I will be on the professional circuit next season so it's an opportunity for me to see just how high the standard is. 'Jason gave me a lot of chances and, fortunately, I took them. It's going to be a lot tougher against John [Parrott]. I've only seen him play on television before but I know he's a great player.'