Teenage golf star Lydia Ko has split with the only coach she has had since she took up the sport as a 5-year-old.
Guy Wilson, who has worked with the Ko for 11 years, issued a statement saying he was "incredibly disappointed" the partnership is over. Ko says the increasing amount of time spent playing overseas was behind the split with her New Zealand-based Kiwi coach.
The 16-year-old, who turned pro at the end of this year, has agreed to be coached by Sean Hogan at David Leadbetter's Academy in the United States.
With Wilson remaining in New Zealand and unable to join her throughout the 2014 LPGA Tour, the decision was a logical one for Ko.
"I'm going to be away from home and I'm not a player that likes to (not) have my coach out at tournaments, so it doesn't really work, him being here and him coming on the weeks that I'm not playing a tournament," Ko told ONE Sport at the Gulf Habour Country Club today.
"That means I'd only see him like 10 times a year and to me that kind of situation didn't work out so that's why I thought it might be better to have a coach based somewhere in the States."
Ko has won five professional tournaments — four as an amateur — while coached by Wilson, who said it had "been an honour to help develop Lydia into the world No 4 golfer."
"When I first met her the golf clubs were taller than she was and she didn't know the first thing about a driver or a putter, but now she has one of the most envied swings in the women's golf world," Wilson said.