Judd Trump and Neil Robertson both qualified for the International Championship as the qualifiers wrapped up at the Guild Hall on Saturday.
The two finalists from the inaugural staging of the most lucrative ranking event in China emerged from contrasting tests to reach the last 64.
Trump compiled a brace of centuries as he comfortably overcame Hossein Vafaei Ayouri 6-2 but Robertson, who Trump beat to claim the title in 2012, needed to reverse a 5-3 deficit to Sam Craigie as the Australian just about scrambled through in a decider.
Mark Allen was the biggest casualty of the final day of action in Preston as he failed to overturn a 5-1 deficit to Daniel Wells in another encounter which went the distance.
The Northern Irishman, who was runner-up in 2014, fought back from four frames down to force the final frame shoot-out but Wells held on for a determined victory.
Elsewhere, fourth seed Shaun Murphy earned a 6-2 win over Thai Kritsanut Lersattayatthorn while fellow Englishmen Gary Wilson, Mark King, Oliver Lines, Alfie Burden and Anthony Hamilton similarly progressed.
The latter came through a titanic scrap with Robert Milkins in a 6-5 thriller while Li Hang recorded the other triumph that needed all 11 frames as the Chinese defeated Sean O’Sullivan.
Friday saw several of China’s contingent fall at the first hurdle as they failed in their attempt to reach one of their home tournaments, but Tian Pengfei wasted little time in his 6-0 rout of Noppon Saengkham today.
Ryan Day was also in no mood to hang about, taking less than an hour and a half in whitewashing amateur Louis Heathcote via runs of 105, 80 and 69.
Meanwhile, Jamie Jones, Kurt Maflin and Aditya Mehta all qualified thanks to 6-4 triumphs.
Yesterday, the likes of Stuart Bingham, Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire progressed but Barry Hawkins was one of their few casualties who failed to book their flights to the far east.
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