The world number 113 blazed a trail through the draw with three victories on day one of the action at the Topsport Centrum.
The Northern Irishman claimed the scalps of Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon (4-1), Shaun Murphy (4-3) and Ricky Walden (4-2) to reach the last 16 of the European Tour event, where he will now meet Gary Wilson for a place in the quarter-finals.
Also through to the fourth round were David Grace, Mark Davis, Stuart Bingham, Martin O'Donnell, Sam Baird and David Gilbert. The remaining third round matches will play out on Saturday.
The Rotterdam Open is the first professional snooker event to be held in the Netherlands for over 20 years. It concludes on Sunday.
Round three results:
Joe Swail 4 - 2 Ricky Walden
David Grace 4 - 1 Kyren Wilson
Mark Davis 4 - 2 Tony Drago
Stuart Bingham 4 - 3 Hammad Miah
Martin O'Donnell 4 - 3 Marcus Campbell
Sam Baird 4 - 2 Norway Kurt Maflin
Gary Wilson 4 - 1 Jamie Cope
David Gilbert 4 - 0 Chris Wakelin
Round two results:
Joe Swail 4 - 3 Shaun Murphy
David Grace 4 - 2 Passakorn Suwannawat
Tony Drago 4 - 3 Rod Lawler
Stuart Bingham 4 - 1 Ryan Causton (a)
Mark Davis 4 - 1 Lee Page
Marcus Campbell 4 - 3 Matthew Selt
Martin O'Donnell 4 - 2 Robert Milkins
Jamie Cope 4 - 1 Liam Highfield
Kyren Wilson 4 - 1 Dominic Dale
Sam Baird 4 - 3 Joe Perry
Ricky Walden 4 - 1 Matthew Stevens
Gary Wilson 4 - 1 Patrick Einsle
Chris Wakelin 4 - 1 Nigel Bond
David Gilbert 4 - 3 Robbie Williams
Hammad Miah 4 - 1 Joe Roberts (a)
Kurt Maflin 4 - 0 Tom Ford
- Sports & Recreation
- Ricky Walden
- Sam Baird