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Rory McIlroy flattered after his golf swing inspires US Open Women’s Champion Yuka Saso

Teenager has spent years studying videos of the Holywood golfer’s winning technique

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Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits out of the bunker towards the third hole during the third round of the 76th U.S. Women's Open Championship

Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits out of the bunker towards the third hole during the third round of the 76th U.S. Women's Open Championship

San Francisco Chronicle via Gett

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

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Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits out of the bunker towards the third hole during the third round of the 76th U.S. Women's Open Championship

Rory McIlory has praised the new US Open Women’s Champion as she took the top prize after years of studying his golf swing.

Yuka Saso (19) was congratulated on her victory by the Holywood golfing superstar, and said future champions will now study her swing instead.

The teenager made history at The Olympic Club in San Francisco on Sunday by becoming the first player from the Philippines in history to win a major tournament.

McIlroy was quick to add his congratulations on Twitter, commenting: “Everybody’s going to be watching Yuka Saso swing videos on YouTube now. Congratulations!”

Interviewed after her victory, Saso added: “Rory mentioned me on Instagram and said ‘Get that trophy’. And I did, so thank you Rory.”

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Last week, she spoke of frequently watching footage of McIlroy’s swing on YouTube before going to sleep.

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Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

She is now hopeful of meeting her golfing inspiration in person at The Olympic Games in Japan later this year.

Speaking during a break from competing at The Memorial Tournament in Ohio, McIlroy compared his own swing with Saso.

“There's some similarities. The way she sort of turns off the ball, like the way our heads both go at impact. There is some stuff there,” he said.

"So it's flattering, obviously, and it's really cool that someone that's used me as a model is leading the US Open. And I'm really into it."

Despite the praise, he said any golfer finds it hard to watch their own technique without a critical eye.

“I think Tiger had the best swing in history that sort of early 2000 stage and I talked to him about it and he still picks it apart,” he told USA Today.

“No, I did this and that and I wrecked my knee doing it and all that. So, like everyone, like even Tiger, when he went on that run, he was still picking apart his swing.”

Asked about the prospect of meeting Saso at the Olympics, he said: “That would be cool. I would like to.… the Olympics, like who knows how it’s going to be or what’s going to happen, but I think with Hideki doing what he did at Augusta, it’s really strong golfing nation, Japan, obviously having, maybe having her as a major champion going in there, who knows. It would be really — it would be really cool.”

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Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits from the bunker on the third hole during the final round of the 76th U.S. Women's Open Championship at The Olympic Club (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits from the bunker on the third hole during the final round of the 76th U.S. Women's Open Championship at The Olympic Club (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits from the bunker on the third hole during the final round of the 76th U.S. Women's Open Championship at The Olympic Club (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Saso’s dramatic win on Sunday saw her clinch the title with a 10-foot birdie putt on the third hole play-off with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka.

Now only the second teenager to win the US women’s Open in history, she matched 2008 champion Inbee Park as the youngest ever winner at 19 years, 11 months and seven days old.

She is also the LPGA’s seventh first time major winner in a row.

Struggling earlier in the tournament with a two-over 73 in her final round, she had started on Sunday in second place one shot behind American player Lexi Thompson.

After Thompson fell to third place, Saso fought her way towards a play-off spot with Hataoka before coming out on top.



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