The cause of the Preston Guild Hall spectators’ disappointment was that McCulloch’s 5-4 victory came against crowd favourite Jimmy White.
“My friends and family will be delighted,” said the left-hander.
“But a lot of people will be pig-sick because of the result,” he said.
The win justified his decision earlier in the week to visit sports psychologist Graham Slater: “I wasn’t totally 100% happy after my first-round game. So, I had an hour with Graham and it seemed to work.”
Seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry defeated Robert Milkins 5-3.
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu beat Londoner Barry Hawkins 5-4. World number 16 Fu now plays Michael Judge for a place in the quarter-finals after the Irishman defeated Scottish rival Marcus Campbell 5-4.
Scot Stephen Maguire cued well to defeat giant-killer Ricky Walden 5-3 to earn a last-16 clash against fellow Scot Alan McManus or Nigel Bond.
Nigel Bond will face Hendry’s occasional practice partner Stephen Maguire in the next round after a marathon 5-4 victory against Glaswegian Alan McManus.