O'Sullivan raced into a 4-1 lead, which included a stunning break of 132, and there was no way back for Welshman White, who was clearly struggling at York's Barbican centre.
"He struggled and I scrambled a bit better than he did," O'Sullivan said after the match. "I wasn't brilliant but some people scramble better than others when they need to, and I was able to do that."
White was far from happy with the 26-year-old saying: "I was absolutely awful. It's so frustrating. I didn't even play half-decent."
O'Sullivan added: "You could see Michael struggling out there and the more you miss the harder it gets. I kind of felt for him. He's a good lad and he loves the game and it was frustrating for him.
"I want to play well and do well but if I don't, I don't care. I have other more important stuff to do."
After Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Ding Junhui crashed out of the tournament, O'Sullivan's hopes are looking increasingly strong.