Stephen Bunting has a quarter-final clash with Michael Smith to look forward to in the New Year after a 4-1 defeat of Luke Humphries on Friday.
The former BDO world champion controlled a one-sided last 16 tie to get the better of a disappointing Humphries.
In an opening two sets defined by big finishes, ‘The Bullet’ took out 127 to double his advantage following a 3-1 victory in the first set.
Trailing 2-0, ‘Cool Hand Luke’ needed to find the form that has helped him rise to world number 5.
It looked as though he had done just that when he claimed the next set to halve the deficit.
He could not maintain that level of performance, however, as Bunting took out D3 to go 3-1 up and he eased through the next set to secure a deserved victory.
He will now face fellow St Helens man Michael Smith in a mouth-watering last-eight tie on Sunday.