World No.1 LydiaKo under fire after axing ninth caddie of her career

South African caddie Gary Matthews has criticised women’s world number one Lydia Ko after being fired by the New Zealander’s camp after only nine events.

The ninth caddie in Ko’s short playing career, Matthews parted ways with the 19-year-old after the Lotte Championship in Hawaii over the weekend where she finished joint runnerup behind winner Christie Kerr.

“I wish her the best, but she’s gone through so many caddies, she needs to wake up on caddie-player relationships,” Matthews, a former bag-man to US Masters champion Sergio Garcia, told Golf Digest. 

“Otherwise she’ll just keep doing it.” 

Ko, who worked with seven caddies as an amateur and rookie on the professional tour, sacked her previous bag-man Jason Hamilton in October when in the midst of a form trough, ending a nearly-two year association that yielded 10 wins and two major trophies.

Although hired on a trial basis, Matthews said he was surprised and puzzled by his dismissal, having thought he had earned the role full-time earlier in the season.

“I was like, ‘This is a bit strange; I didn’t think I did that bad of a job’,” he said. 

“In all honesty, there is no communication in the whole camp. You never know anything or are told anything. The agent called me on the Monday after Palm Springs and said, ‘She needed a change, we’re going with somebody else, but you can caddie in Hawaii.’ 

“I’m like, well, never in 19 years have I been fired and I’m still working for the person. What was so strange for me, we worked unbelievably well in Hawaii, the communication and everything was just phenomenal.” 

South Korea-born Ko, whose parents are a near-constant presence on tour, also parted ways with renowned swing coach David Leadbetter in December after a three-year association. 

Leadbetter said it “wasn’t easy coaching three people” and felt the golfer’s parents were putting too much pressure on their daughter.”

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