Several seeds remain in the competition with aspirations of claiming the Stephen Hendry Trophy on Sunday.
Defending champion Mark Selby, world number one Judd Trump, and world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan are among those set to feature in the last 32 of the Scottish Open.
The three pre-tournament favourites were joined in the third round by Ding Junhui, Kyren Wilson, Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy, and Mark Williams.
There was disappointment, however, for John Higgins who became the last Scot to exit the ranking event with a 4-2 reverse against Noppon Saengkham on Wednesday at the Marshall Arena.
With the Scottish Open being hosted remotely in Milton Keynes as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, there wasn’t really any such thing as home advantage this year – and it showed.
Veteran Alan McManus also bowed out on the third day to add to the early exits suffered by Stephen Maguire, Graeme Dott, and Scott Donaldson.
Meanwhile, Trump, O’Sullivan, and Selby will be looking to maintain their challenges for the title this week on Thursday, which predominantly represents the busiest day in a Home Nations series event.
Both the third and fourth hurdles will have to be overcome, meaning that by the end of the day’s play the last eight contenders will be known.
Trump, bidding to add to his prior glories in the English and Northern Ireland Opens already this term, faces Liang Wenbo before a potential clash against three-time world champion Williams in the last 16.
The latter plays countryman Jackson Page in an all-Welsh tie that pits two eras of talent against one another.
O’Sullivan encounters Tian Pengfei and could subsequently meet the in-form Lu Ning – a semi-finalist in last week’s UK Championship – if the Chinese can also negotiate his next hurdle of Robbie Williams.
Selby takes on Mark Joyce, while there is an intriguing fixture between Allen and Zhou Yuelong in the same quarter of the draw.
Ding and Murphy could be set for a mouthwatering battle if they can first beat their respective third-round opponents, Martin O’Donnell and Jamie O’Neill.
Wilson faces Michael Holt while other proven tour winners like Stuart Bingham, Barry Hawkins, and Ricky Walden are also still in the running.
Walden is one of several players hoping to do enough this week to break into the top 32 in the one-year rankings list and earn an invitation to next week’s World Grand Prix.
The three-time ranking event winner is currently just £500 short of the cut-off line, with Allen and Liang among those desperately clinging on to the final positions.
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Featured photo credit: WST