The Australian was playing his first match since capturing the UK Championship title earlier this month.
The tournament is the last scheduled in what has been a turbulent 2020 calendar year.
The “Jester” claimed the £70,000 top prize and raised the trophy aloft in Milton Keynes.
The pair will battle for the £70,000 top prize and the Stephen Hendry Trophy.
Two of the tournament favourites will face off against a couple of outsiders for a place in the final.
Next week’s event will be the last of what has been a turbulent 2020 calendar year.
Eight players are still in contention in what is the penultimate ranking event of 2020.
Several seeds remain in the competition with aspirations of claiming the Stephen Hendry Trophy on Sunday.
It’s the third Home Nations series event of an increasingly busy 2020/21 campaign.
It’s a third UK title for the Australian, adding to his prior successes in 2013 and 2015.