9 Dec 2016

Parents stifling Ko's career, claims former coach

5:07 am on 9 December 2016

Lydia Ko's former coach - who has now parted ways with golf's world number one - claims her parents are stifling her career.

David Leadbetter has stopped working with Ko after coaching her for the past three years, with Ko winning 12 of her 14 LPGA titles under his tutelege - including two majors.

In happier times Lydia Ko and her former caddie Jason Hamilton and Ko's sister celebrate her win at the ANA Inspiration in California earlier this years.

In happier times Lydia Ko and her former caddie Jason Hamilton and Ko's sister celebrate her win at the ANA Inspiration in California earlier this years. Photo: Photosport

Leadbetter says Ko can go onto bigger and better things, so long as her family keeps their expectations realistic.

Ko's parents and her sister are all heavily involved in Ko's day to day management, and Leadbetter said her father had a strong involvement in her coaching.

"He's a very interesting guy. He's not really a player of any sort.

"I've always thought if you are going to have a coach you hand the player over to the coach. Why get involved?

"If you want to coach the player then why hire a coach to start with.

David Leadbetter - 'it's crucial that Ko has time away from golf'.

David Leadbetter Photo: David Leadbetter

"It's something that I know Lydia is aware of and she's trying to take more control of. But there's a cultural aspect you have to take into account. I mean, they're not bad people. I'm not suggesting they are bad people at all, but I am suggesting there's a little too much parental involvement."

Leadbetter said Ko should be given room to grow and "prove that she can do this on her own".

"She doesn't need a lot of support around her, apart from her coaching team.

"Just let her do her thing - she is going to be just fine."

Leadbetter said Ko's parents felt she should be winning every week and not making mistakes.

"One has to be realistic, golf is not the easiest sport in the world to play well every week.

"Look at the top current players in the world: Rory McIIroy, Jason Day or Jordan Speith, they don't have the game week in and week out."

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