Ko teams up with new coach Gilchrist

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WELLINGTON: World No.1 Lydia Ko revealed on Wednesday she has appointed South African Gary Gilchrist as her new coach following last year’s high-profile split from David Leadbetter.

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The 19-year-old New Zealander said she had been working with Gilchrist for about a month and enjoyed his subtle approach.

“It’s been a lot of fun working with him, it’s been great,” she told reporters in Auckland.

“I tried a few lessons with him and I felt like it was very simple and he wouldn’t rip my swing apart, that’s really important.”

Lydia Ko of New Zealand teeing off during the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship golf tournament at the Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon, west of Seoul. AFP PHOTO

Ko blossomed early in her time with Leadbetter but began to strike problems following advice to change her swing.

She won four times in 2016 and also collected an Olympic silver medal, but struggled in the latter part of the season with just one top-five finish in her last nine starts.

In addition to appointing Gilchrist, Ko also hired a new caddie late last year and has changed her clubs from Callaway to PXG for 2017.

The two-time major champion said she found the changes refreshing, rather than daunting.

“I don’t think I’ve been very worried about the changes because it almost takes me back to three years ago as a rookie,” she said.

“When you’re a rookie coming on tour everything’s new and you’re excited. It’s a similar mindset going into this year too.”

Ko will begin her LPGA Tour season at the Australian Open in Adelaide next week.

AFP

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