Pros advice

Lydia Ko splits from esteemed coach David Leadbetter

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko has called time on her relationship with David Leadbetter, with the esteemed coach suggesting the New Zealander should wriggle free of her domineering parents.

World No.1 Ko, still only 19, worked with Leadbetter for three years, and the split comes after she recently parted ways with her caddie.

“We as a team want to thank Lydia for the privilege of helping her develop her game over the past three years,” Leadbetter said in the statement.

"We wish Lydia the very best for the future and know that, going forward, if she is able to withstand the many outside pressures associated with being number one in the world, and if her team keep their expectations realistic, then she can go on to even bigger and better things,” he added.

Ko has been struggling for form recently, and some have suggested it is down to Leadbetter and his “A-Frame” swing stunting her progress.

However, Leadbetter, the man who famously rebuilt Nick Faldo’s swing back in the 1980’s, believes Ko’s issues lie much closer to home.

In a shot directed at Ko’s parents, Leadbetter said the young golfer should “take control of her own life, take control of her own game”, and added “it was not easy coaching three people”.

The 14-time LPGA Tour winner last tasted victory in July at the Marathon Classic, having already notched up two major wins in her career to date. However, whether she can manage her game without such a strong influence as Leadbetter in her corner, remains to be seen.

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