Nine events are all it took for World No. 1 Lydia Ko to pull the plug on her professional relationship with caddie Gary Matthews. The firing comes despite five Top 10 finishes since their first tournament together, the Toto Japan Classic, just five months ago.
Ko is certainly no stranger to changing caddies though. During her rookie season as a pro golfer, she had seven different ones on her bag.
Before joining forces with Matthews, Ko worked with Jason Hamilton and clinched ten victories, including two majors, in two years. But she fired him last October.
While it’s hard to speculate right now what exactly prompted the firing of Matthews, what’s true is that Ko has not won an LPGA event since last July. All the while, So Yeon Ryu has closed the gap between her and Ko in the official rankings after winning the ANA Inspiration earlier this month.
Even though Ko finished tied for 2nd at the Lotte Championship this past weekend, it’s also her only Top 3 finish in her last 16 LPGA tournaments. She has been the top ranked player in the world for 77 consecutive weeks.
Perhaps Ko wants to get back to winning, which is what she’s accustomed to.
Whatever the case is, it seems safe to say that the 19-year old World No. 1 is not afraid to make changes. Ko canned her coach David Leadbetter last December as well, replacing him with Gary Gilchrist.
Ko’s next scheduled tournament is the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout at the end of the month. Who will be on her bag in Irving, Texas is the big question for now.
h/t: espn.com, golfweek.com, golf.com, lpga.com