The Chinese player defeated Judd Trump in a final frame decider at Crondon Park Golf Club.
Ding led 2-0 but runs of 50 and 89 drew the Bristolian level only for the world number eight to secure the victory with a 64 break and earn a place in the final group alongside John Higgins and Ali Carter.
Neil Robertson and Mark Williams went out of the event which sees 25 of the world's top players competing in the Premier League qualifying tournament.
Seven groups of seven players produce seven winners who play in one further group in March to determine the winner who will play in the 2013 Premier League.
In each group, the top four players from the round robin stage will contest the semi-finals and final over the best of five frames.
The players coming sixth and seventh in the group will be relegated and will not feature in any further group matches and therefore three players will leave and be replaced by a further three players.
Group Four begins on Wednesday with Trump, beaten semi-finalists Mark Selby and Stephen Maguire plus Martin Gould returning to join Ricky Walden, Mark Allen and Barry Hawkins.
Group Three results
Ding Junhui 3 - 2 Judd Trump
Ding Junhui 3 - 1 Stephen Maguire
Judd Trump 3 - 1 Mark Selby
Judd Trump 3 - 0 Martin Gould
Stephen Maguire 3 - 1 Mark Selby
Neil Robertson 3 - 1 Mark J Williams
Martin Gould 3 - 2 Mark Selby
Ding Junhui 3 - 1 Neil Robertson
Martin Gould 3 - 1 Mark J Williams
Mark Selby 3 - 1 Neil Robertson
Mark J Williams 3 - 1 Stephen Maguire
Judd Trump 3 - 0 Ding Junhui
Stephen Maguire 3 - 1 Ding Junhui
Mark J Williams 3 - 1 Judd Trump
Judd Trump 3 - 2 Neil Robertson
Mark Selby 3 - 1 Ding Junhui
Stephen Maguire 3 - 2 Martin Gould
Ding Junhui 3 - 0 Mark J Williams
Mark Selby 3 - 1 Judd Trump
Stephen Maguire 3 - 0 Neil Robertson
Ding Junhui 3 - 1 Martin Gould
Mark Selby 3 - 1 Mark J Williams
Neil Robertson 3 - 2 Martin Gould
Stephen Maguire 3 - 2 Judd Trump
Group 1 - Judd Trump, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter, Matthew Stevens, Mark Davis and Martin Gould
Group 2 - Four players from Group 1 (Carter, Gould, Davis and Trump) plus Stephen Maguire, Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham
Group 3 - Four players from Group 2 (Robertson, Gould, Trump and Maguire) plus Mark Selby, Mark Williams and Ding Junhui
Group 4 - Four players from Group 3 (Selby, Gould, Trump and Maguire) plus Ricky Walden, Mark Allen and Barry Hawkins
Group 5 - Four players from Group 4 plus Joe Perry, Peter Ebdon and Ryan Day
Group 6 - Four players from Group 5 plus Marcus Campbell, Marco Fu and Dominic Dale
Group 7 - Four players from Group 6 plus three Andrew Higginson, Tom Ford and Robert Milkins
Winners' Group - Winners of groups 1 to 7