Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and Ding Junhui are among some of the names through to the last 32 of the Scottish Open in Glasgow.
The last ranking event of the decade is ongoing at the Emirates Arena with home favourites John Higgins and Graeme Dott also still in the running.
Trump whitewashed his opponent in a second successive match, overcoming Yuan Sijun 4-0 on Wednesday in the last 64.
It was the same story for recent UK Championship winner Ding, following on his impressive form from York with a brace of centuries against Mei Xiwen.
O’Sullivan repeated the scoreline with a one-sided victory over James Cahill, gaining a modicum of revenge for the shock defeat to his fellow Englishman in this year’s World Championship.
However, there was controversy of sorts, as there inevitably is with O’Sullivan, after the 44 year-old refused to shake Cahill’s hand before the fixture in fear of getting “germs”.
The world number three, who will face Martin Gould next, instead fist-bumped his opponent and the referee, later citing that “I am a bit OCD like that.”
Elsewhere, defending champion Mark Allen required one additional frame but still coasted through at the expense of Louis Heathcote.
There were comprehensive victories as well for Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy, and Kyren Wilson.
For Higgins, the four-time world champion constructed a 123 in his defeat of Alexander Ursenbacher – a ton that represented his 775th in total, matching compatriot Stephen Hendry’s tally in second on the all-time list.
I’d like to congratulate John Higgins on finally equalling my 775 centuries 🤣🤣🤣👏
— stephen hendry (@SHendry775) December 11, 2019
Dott and Scott Donaldson were the other home players to remain in the competition but UK Championship runner-up Stephen Maguire bowed out.
The 38 year-old fired in a couple of centuries but still came up short in a high-quality affair with Marco Fu that ended 4-2 in the 2016 champion’s favour.
Meanwhile, world number one Trump, who is the 2/1 favourite with sites such as comeon casino to defend his Masters crown next month, meets James Wattana in the last 32 of the Scottish Open.
Allen, who pipped Murphy to glory twelve months ago for his last ranking event victory, meets Elliot Slessor while the “Magician” faces a tricky prospect in three-time ranking event winner Ricky Walden.
Another intriguing tie sees Ding in action against Dott, and there’s a battle of the former world champions between Robertson and Peter Ebdon.
The latter fought back from 3-1 down to deny Tian Pengfei in a second round decider.
Top 16 members David Gilbert and Jack Lisowski are also still in content, with challenges awaiting them in the forms of Xiao Guodong and Mike Dunn on Thursday.
Joe Perry, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Jimmy Robertson, and Tom Ford are others hoping to make an impact at the business end of the tournament.
Day four in the third Home Nations event of this season is one of the most hectic, with two rounds set to be completed.
By the end of the day’s play, the last eight will be known and a greater sense of who might proceed to lift the trophy on Sunday will be realised.
Named the Stephen Hendry Trophy in honour of the seven-time world champion, it would be ironic if O’Sullivan emerged triumphantly in a few days.
That’s because the “Rocket” is bidding for a record 37th career ranking title that would see him finally eclipse the long-held tally of Hendry.
Coverage of the last 32 of the Scottish Open is on Eurosport and Quest TV.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)