The world number one was worked hard before eventually booking his place in the second round.
Judd Trump qualified for the last 64 of the English open with a comeback 4-3 triumph against Louis Heathcote on Tuesday.
The 2019 world champion won the opening frame with a break of 75 but lost the next three and was in danger of exiting at the first hurdle of the competition.
Heathcote, the 2020 Rookie of the Year, had opportunities to get past the winning line, but his esteemed opponent managed to survive with breaks of 86 and 61 helping him to progress.
Trump will face Yuan Sijun in the second round of the English Open as he continues his bid to capture a first ranking title of the new term.
Former champion Stuart Bingham and four-time world champion John Higgins were among the other notable names to emerge from their initial tests unscathed.
Bingham, the English Open winner in 2018, overcame Fergal O’Brien 4-2 in a high-scoring affair in which he wrapped up the victory with a brace of tons, while Higgins repeated that scoreline in a late success over James Cahill.
World Championship runner-up Kyren Wilson was also tested in his 4-2 defeat of Dominic Dale and Shaun Murphy required all seven frames to get beyond Robert Milkins.
In general, most of the favoured players extended their runs in the tournament with the likes of Jack Lisowski, Barry Hawkins, Ryan Day, Luca Brecel, and Zhao Xintong earning victories.
Arguably the biggest upset on day two came in the form of David Gilbert’s 4-2 reverse against Rory McLeod, while Graeme Dott also crashed out early in his defeat to Alexander Ursenbacher.
Among the others through are Gary Wilson, Matthew Stevens, Mark Davis, Tom Ford, and Jimmy Robertson.
Nice event for Anthony McGill so far. Two byes on the back of COVID-19 positive tests, and he’s automatically into the last 32 without potting a ball.
— David Caulfield (@SnookerHQ) October 13, 2020
Elsewhere, a positive COVID-19 test for Peter Lines resulted in his late withdrawal from the event, and it also forced son Oliver to pull out despite winning his opening-round fixture on Monday as he had been in close contact with his father over the weekend.
The busy schedule continues on Wednesday with the round of 64 being played in its entirety at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Live coverage is on Eurosport, Quest, and Matchroom.Live (depending on your location).
Click here to view the draw. (External Site -Times in CET)