"I can't really believe it, but I enjoy proving people wrong," the 1996 world amateur champion said. "You never know how far I can go." Bingham, a first-round winner over Tony Drago and a re-spotted black ball winner against Gerard Greene in the second round, added: "I started off like a house on fire but when John started to come back at me I got a bit worried.
"I've lost matches before when I shouldn't have done so I was delighted when he finally shook my hand."
Bingham, the world No 164, quickly built up a 3-0 lead but Higgins showed his mettle by drawing level at 3-3.
Bingham won frame seven with a run of 43 but easily lost the eighth. In the decider, by the time they reached the colours, Higgins needed snookers. "I had a wee chance to win the decider but missed a terrible black," Higgins said. "But all credit to Stuart, he played well."
Higgins' defeat was not quite as surprising as Stephen Hendry's 9-0 demise in the UK Championship last November. The Scot is slowly recovering from that humiliation by Marcus Campbell - his 5-4 victory yesterday over Matthew Stevens of Wales will fill him with confidence, recovering as he did from 4-3 down.
Steve Davis, at 41 the oldest competitor left in the field, beat Fergal O'Brien 5-0, while Thailand's James Wattana reached his first ranking tournament quarter-final for over two years by beating Northern Ireland's Patrick Wallace 5-2. Ronnie O'Sullivan ran in a 143 break as he came from behind to beat Canada's Alain Robidoux 5-4.Reuse content