Pros advice

All change for World No 1 Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko and her caddy Jason Hamilton parted ways in October, now it is her world-famous coach David Leadbetter who has left Team Ko.

The 20-year-old wants to go in a new direction and used the tried-and-trusted reason of needing a ‘fresh set of eyes’. But Leadbetter – who got together with the New Zealander in November 2013, a period where Ko won 12 times on the LPGA Tour including two Majors – told that he thought that the decision was helped along by her parents.

“She called me and said, `David, this is the hardest decision for me, you’re like family, but I’ve decided I need to make a change,’” Leadbetter said.

“My parting words to Lydia were that I think she needs to take control of her life and her golf game. She’s the No 1 player in the world. She isn’t 15 any more; she’s nearly 20. Her parents have done a great job bringing her up and getting her to a certain level, but she is old enough now to where she should be making her own decisions.”

Ko won five times up until July this year, including the ANA Inspiration, but then her form hit the buffers. In five successive events she failed to notch a top 10, her worst run since she started out on the LPGA Tour five years ago.

“There were swing changes in Korea we weren’t made aware of,” said Leadbetter who added that her father had become more involved of late.

“Her swing certainly got looser. It looked like she was lifting the club too much, and as the year went on that grew worse. Her trainers will tell you fitness was an issue, and I think that was a huge factor. The fix for her dad’s part was to try to flatten her backswing.”

Ko, who has been the World No 1 for 78 weeks already in her short career, is also expected to switch clubs, leaving Callaway for a new deal with PXG Golf.

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