Lydia Ko has ended her relationship with David Leadbetter, prompting the esteemed coach to suggest the Kiwi needs to wriggle free of her controlling parents.
World number one Ko, 19, has worked with Leadbetter for three years, and the split comes after she recently parted ways with her caddie.
“We as a team want to thank Lydia for the privilege of helping her develop her game over the past three years,” Leadbetter said in the statement. "We wish Lydia the very best for the future and know that, going forward, if she is able to withstand the many outside pressures associated with being number one in the world, and if her team keep their expectations realistic, then she can go on to even bigger and better things.”
Ko has struggled with form recently, with some suggesting Leadbetter’s “A-Frame” swing may be putting the blockers on her success.
However Leadbetter, who famously re-built Nick Faldo’s swing in the 1980s, believes the problem may be in the family set-up, and pointed the finger at Ko’s parents.
Ko needs to “take control of her own life, take control of her own game” he said, and added “it was not easy coaching three people”.
The 14-time LPGA Tour winner, who last tasted victory in July at the Marathon Classic, has two major wins to her name.