Ko splits with long-time golf coach
Teenage star Lydia Ko has split with the only golf coach she's ever had.
Talk of a split between the 16-year-old and her coach, Guy Wilson, has been circling for several weeks and Ko refused to address the subject in an interview with Fairfax Media yesterday, however Wilson has confirmed the news.
Reports suggest Ko has agreed to be coached by American coaching guru David Leadbetter's academy when she is in the United States.
Having recently turned professional, Ko will ply her trade largely in the US next year on the LPGA Tour.
"It's been an honour to help develop Lydia into the No 4 golfer in the world," Wilson said in a statement to Fairfax Media this morning.
"When I first met her the golf clubs were taller than she was and she didn't know the first thing about a driver or a putter but now she has one of the most envied swings in the women's golf world.
"Lydia's consistent and outstanding performance is the ultimate payback for any coach and it has been truly wonderful working with someone with her talent, dedication and focus," Wilson said.
"I wish Lydia all the best and will watch proudly as she embarks on what I'm sure will be a hugely successful professional golfing career."
Wilson has coached Ko for 11 years, during which time she became the world No 1 amateur for three consecutive years, and rose as high as number four in the world golf rankings.
She won five professional titles while under Wilson's guidance, four of them as an amateur.
Ko recently signed a deal with IMG to be her management after turning pro in October.
''We've spent a lot of time together over the past decade and during that time I've become very close to Lydia and her family. While I'm incredibly disappointed that our 11-year partnership is over, I respect Lydia and her team's decision."