Caddie Gary gets Ko heave-ho

20 April 2017 - 09:55 By Reuters
ONE FOR THE GIRLS: Golf's return to the Olympics is everything for female golf, offering the promise of the publicity, sponsorship and raised purses for top golfers such as Lydia Ko of New Zealand.
ONE FOR THE GIRLS: Golf's return to the Olympics is everything for female golf, offering the promise of the publicity, sponsorship and raised purses for top golfers such as Lydia Ko of New Zealand.
Image: JORGE LEMUS/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

South African caddie Gary Matthews has criticised women's world No 1 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 runner-up 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 didn't think I did that bad a job," he said.

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 later told the media that 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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