Simon Whitlock was too strong a force for the much-fancied Justin Pipe in the fourth round of the Speedy Services UK Open, while Robert Thornton produced the shock of the round with a 9-7 triumph over fellow Scotsman Gary Anderson on Saturday afternoon.
There was also a victory for Paul Nicholson, who is joined in the last 16 by Dutch pair Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen.
Whitlock triumphed 9-5 over Pipe to set up an evening clash against Dave Chisnall.
“Justin is one of the hardest players to play,” said Whitlock, who averaged over 95. “I just did enough to win and I’m really pleased to have beaten him.
“I feel good about myself and hopefully I can get a rhythm going. I’m here to win and if I wasn’t I wouldn’t even turn up.”
Thornton grabbed his second scalp in as many days, when he knocked out Gary Anderson, who had hit a nine-darter in the previous round.
“I’m enjoying it again,” said Thornton, who is returning to form after suffering from pneumonia.
“It’s all down to hard work and constant practise. I’m pleased that I’m coming back to form and I’m more relaxed than I’ve ever been. I’m going to go and get some rest ahead of tonight.”
Thornton takes on Dennis Priestley in the battle for a quarter-final place.
Nicholson progressed at the expense of Arron Monk, with ‘The Asset’ posting an average of almost 100.
“I said before the tournament that no expectations means no pressure and I think I should adopt this attitude more often,” said Nicholson, who will face Dennis Ovens in round five.
“I learned a lot from last year and I’m actually feeling a little bit fresher than at this stage last year. Now I’m going to go away and prepare for tonight.”
van Barneveld produced one of the performances of the afternoon, hitting three ton plus finishes in a classy victory over Andy Hamilton.
“I knew what I was up against,” said van Barneveld who faces Peter Wright in the last 16.
“He (Hamilton) had a great World Championship and Premier League so I’m happy with the win.
“He took out two bull finishes, which annoyed me, so I was pleased to win it with the 126 checkout.”
van Gerwen hit a 170 checkout on his way to victory in a thrilling match against Mervyn King.
“I played very well and I’m pleased to be through,” said van Gerwen, who will play Terry Jenkins on the main stage tonight.
“My finishing could be a little bit better, but the 170 was a special moment and I’m looking forward to my next game.”
The fifth round takes place on Saturday evening with all games played over the best of 17 legs.
By Chris Murphy
Speedy Services UK Open
Fifth round draw (involving MODUS players)
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN v Terry Jenkins
SIMON WHITLOCK v Dave Chisnall
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD v Peter Wright
ROBERT THORNTON v Dennis Priestley
PAUL NICHOLSON v Denis Ovens