Golf: Ko's new coach reluctant

Lydia Ko's new coach said when someone of her ability approaches him there could be only one answer. Photo / Getty
Lydia Ko's new coach said when someone of her ability approaches him there could be only one answer. Photo / Getty

Lydia Ko's new coach says he was initially reluctant to take the reins from Guy Wilson.

Wilson yesterday announced he and Ko were splitting after a highly-successful 11 years together, a move which left him "incredibly disappointed".

Ko will now be coached by David Leadbetter and his academy staffer Sean Hogan, with the pair's US-base seen as ideal for Ko considering she will spend much of next year Stateside on the LPGA Tour.

Leadbetter today indicated his hesitation to agree when Ko and her team approached the acclaimed coach, cautious about stepping on Wilson's toes.

"We were a little reluctant," Leadbetter told GolfChannel.com. "We were very aware of the relationship she had with her coach, and we treaded lightly, but they approached us.

"When somebody of that ilk asks, you don't turn them down."

Leadbetter and Hogan spend three days with Ko at ChampionsGate in November, a spell which was quickly followed by the teenager's first win as a professional, at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in Taiwan

The English-born teacher came to prominence in the 1980s when he rebuilt the swing of Nick Faldo, who went on to win six major championships, but Leadbetter was not expecting such drastic action with Ko.

"This isn't about re-inventing her swing," he said. "It's about guiding, keeping her on track."

- APNZ

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