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Lydia Ko is defending her title at California’s Lake Merced without a coach

Matthew Stockman
RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 04: Lydia Ko of New Zealand hits out of the fourth fairway during round 1 of the ANA Inspiration on the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club on April 04, 2019 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

By Keely Levins
What seems like potentially old news is new again, only because it’s a news cycle that seems to repeat itself. Lydia Ko has parted ways with her most-recent swing coach, Ted Oh, according to reports from Golf Channel and Golfweek.

“People make changes, but somehow I just get the limelight of it all,” Ko told Golfweek. “It happens. I try and not Google myself.”

The timing of the change this time around is notable in that Ko is the defending champion this week at the LPGA Mediheal Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club outside San Francisco.

“I have a lot to thank Ted for,” Ko told Golf Channel. “He gave me a really solid blueprint, simplifying my swing. I think he showed me a more efficient way, and I thank him for that.”

Ko started working with Oh at the beginning of the 2018 season, having parted with coach Gary Gilchrist, whom she worked within 2017. Before Gilchrist, Ko worked with David Leadbetter. She started working with Leadbetter after parting with her coach Guy Wilson, whom she had been working with since she was a junior in New Zealand. They stopped working together when Ko turned pro in 2013. When she announced Oh as an addition to her team early in 2018, she also changed caddies to Johnny Scott. Scott is still on the bag for Ko.

Golf Digest reached out to Ko’s team for comment about removing Oh from her team and any potential plans moving forward. Her agent Brian Poe said, “Lydia is not in a rush to make a decision going forward.”

Ko, herself, iterated that same sentiment when talking to Golf Channel. “I’ve had a couple coaches look at my swing, to get an opinion, but I’m not in a rush to make a decision,” she told Golf Channel.

The 22-year-old former World No. 1 won her 15th career LPGA title at Lake Merced last year, which was also her first victory in two years. Ko won the event in a playoff, a dramatic one. On the 18th hole, she was 234 yards out deciding if she should go for the par 5 in two or not. She went for it, nearly holing her 3-wood for a double eagle. She tapped in the eagle to defeat Minjee Lee. The shot was been immortalized at Lake Merced Golf Club with a plaque.

Ko, currently ranked No. 17 in the world, has two top-10s in her eight starts in 2019.

 

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