BLACKWOOD potter Andrew Pagett's run in the Bet Victor Welsh Open is over after he was beaten 4-0 by reigning champion Stephen Maguire at the Newport Centre tonight.
Pagett's defeat means his practice partner and good friend Mark Williams is the only Welshman in the last 16 following earlier defeats for Dominic Dale and Matthew Stevens.
Pagett took the lead in the opening frame but a simple miss allowed Maguire in to go 1-0 up. Another error from Pagett in the next allowed Maguire to take the frame with a run of 73.
The Scotsman missed on 54 in frame three but Pagett could only muster up a run of 24 to allow Maguire to clear up. He followed by winning a scrappy fourth to complete the rout to earn a match with Joel Walker.
"I had a bit of luck and fancied him to clear up in the third frame because he can play. I am still in it so I have half a chance but there is still a long way to go," said Glasgow's Maguire, who is no longer feeling the effects of a swollen disc in his back.
"I don't know who Joel Walker is but obviously he has done well as he is in the last 16. I am getting old so he will after my blood but I am looking forward to it. My back is fine now after resting which is good, I felt no pain out there."
Three-time Welsh Open winner John Higgins showed no mercy in his latest match, punishing Mark King for a number of misses.
Romford cueist King had key chances in the first two frames but failed to take them as Higgins romped to victory with top runs of 55, 66 and 137 to set up a clash with Judd Trump - a repeat of the memorable 2011 World Championship final which Higgins won 18-15.
"Mark had a few chances but he didn't punish me and you can't afford to do that," said four-time World Champion Higgins.
"Against Judd if I give him them chances he will probably clear up so I need to tighten it up. I haven't had many wins against the higher ranked players and that is where I will be judged.
"Judd is has come in a bit of form of late and he reminds people of a young Jimmy White or Mark Williams.
"He got to the final at the German Masters so he has the bit between his teeth but we will have to see what happens."
Ding Junhui kept alive his hopes of winning a fifth ranking title this season as he came through a tough match against Ben Woollaston 4-3.
Woollaston came from 3-1 down to 3-3 before Ding won a tense decider 66-32 to set up a match with Scott Donaldson.
Barry Hawkins will face Liang Wenbo next after the world number five showed his grit to came from 3-1 down to beat Gloucestershire's rising star Jack Lisowski.
Crucible finalist Hawkins made breaks of 54, 74, 134 and 50.