Webster’s 5-3 win over Ross Smith was enough to confirm Whitlock’s place in the knockout stage in Wolverhampton but when ‘The Wizard’ lost 5-4 to Wes Newton, it left his opponent tied on points and leg difference with the Welshman – forcing a nine-dart shoot-out.
Webster returned at the end of the night to seal qualification by winning the decider convincingly, scoring 272 with just six darts against Newton’s 199 from 9.
The former Lakeside winner will face current BDO World Champion Scott Waites in the second round on Wednesday.
Thornton topped Group F despite his 5-4 defeat at the hands of Andy Hamilton after the result from the other game in that group had confirmed the Scotsman’s progression.
He will face Mervyn King, who ended reigning champion Raymond van Barneveld’s hopes of defending his title.
‘Barney’ was eliminated in unfortunate circumstances, having won his opening two group games.
Whitlock will face Ted Hankey on Wednesday for a place in the quarter-finals.
By Chris Murphy