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Yuka Saso and Rory McIlroy
Yuka Saso and Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is providing an extra source of inspiration for Yuka Saso, who is among the favourites to strike gold in the women's golf in Tokyo.

Saso comes into the Olympics having won the U.S. Women's Open in June; her first major championship success.

The 20-year-old from the Philippines idolises McIlroy and is spending her free time ahead of the women's event trailing the Northern Irishman around the Kasumigaseki Country Club.

She has been treated to a fine display from McIlroy, who has refound form to head into the final round just three shy of leader Xander Schauffele and well in contention for a medal.

"Watching him rip it is really good," SASO told the Olympic Information Service.

"Watching him today and seeing him swing gives me advice for my swing. I'll be watching him every day."

McIlroy greeted Saso during his round on Friday, and the youngster added: "That's pretty cool, who would think he would do that for me? It's been a dream watching him live."

A third-round 67 has put McIlroy in a tie for fifth on 11 under, with Schauffele holding a one-shot lead over home favourite Hideki Matsuyama – Paul Casey and Carlos Ortiz sit on 12 under.

"It was good, a continuation of how I played yesterday," McIlroy said after his efforts on Saturday.

"Felt like I maybe left a couple out there out on the back nine, I could have maybe got to 13 under, but I've got a great chance going into tomorrow. It's a bit of a packed leaderboard, all to play for.

"It's going to be brilliant, a lot of us are trying to do something that none of us have ever done before, a lot of us going to be going through experiences that we've never experienced so that's going to be fun, it's interesting and sets us up for a really good day tomorrow."

With the men's individual event wrapping up on Sunday, the women take to the course on Wednesday.

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