"Neil wasn't at his best today and I came back well from 3-0 down and played a good decider," said White. "It probably goes down as my best win even though I beat Mark Williams at the Crucible. At 3-0 down I was wondering what time the flight home was.
"The crowd were brilliant today, it's a great venue and I'm enjoying it here."
White's reward is a meeting with fellow Welshman Ryan Day in the second round.
"Ryan and I travelled out here together, we are practice partners and he's one of my best mates."
Elsewhere, Martin Gould beat Joe Perry 5-4 after trailing 5-4 while Stuart Bingham enjoyed a 5-3 win over Li Hang. Graeme Dott overcame Yan Bingtao 5-2 boosted by a top run of 69.
Zhao Xintong completed a 5-4 win over Marco Fu while there were wins for Stephen Maguire who made 66 in overcoming Jimmy Robertson 5-1. Mark Allen was a 5-3 winner over Andrew Higginson.