Nine years ago, Goda notched a famous play-off victory over Ozaki in the 1994 Japan PGA Championship for his only career victory, and the 39-year-old is looking forward to a repeat performance.
Goda recorded a 4-under 68 at Southern Links Golf Club, thanks to a strong back nine that included an eagle and three birdies. His three-day total of 9-under 207 kept him ahead of second-place player Tsuyoshi Yoneyama, who also shot a 68.
Ozaki birdied four of his last five holes en route to a 67, which earned him a spot in the final group Sunday. He is two strokes behind Goda in the event jointly sanctioned by the Asian PGA Tour and Japan Golf Tour. The Okinawa Open is the opening event for the 2004 season for both circuits.
Even at 56, Ozaki still looms as a threat. After swapping two birdies against as many bogeys through 10, he caught fire late in his round, making birdies at Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 18.
'At the beginning, the wind was strong but on the back nine, it died down a bit. The wind influences my putting game as if it blows, I have the tendency to choke on my putts. It was good to finish strongly as Im now in a good position,' said Ozaki, who has 112 career victories in Japan.
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