While most young ladies her age are switching majors, boyfriends, and beer brands, Lydia Ko’s revolving door features caddies, club-makers and swing coaches. Teenagers are notorious for changing their minds, and the top women’s golfer in the world isn’t much different than her 19-year old peers.
Despite a second-place finish at the Lotte Championship last week, it wasn’t her performance on the golf course that landed Ko in the headlines. Instead, It was the dismissal of caddie Gary Matthews that drew attention to Ko, whose career caddie count is rapidly approaching her win total.
The 14-time LPGA winner will presumably have her 10th caddie on the bag when she tees it up at next week’s Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, as long as there’s a looper willing to take a notoriously short-term gig.
Matthews carried the bag for Ko in nine events, but admits he was fired after just eight. He received the news that the Lotte Championship would be his final event with Ko after her T11 finish at the ANA Inspiration in late March.
“In all honesty, there is no communication in the whole camp. You never know anything or are told anything. The agent [Michael Yim of IMG] 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.’”
Lydia Ko is famously not afraid of change. In January, PXG confirmed rumors that first surfaced last November, announcing that she would ditch Callaway for a PXG deal. That move came on the heels of dropping relatively long-time caddie Jason Hamilton, who toted the bag for Ko for two years, in October. Ko then had a highly-publicized split with swing coach David Leadbetter in December.
The more Ko tinkers with her team, the more she gets scrutinized by the public. Maybe it’s because her August, 2012 win, which made her the youngest LPGA winner in history, feels so long ago that people forget Ko is still a teenager. Teenagers are known for constantly changing their minds.
“I wish her the best, but she’s gone through so many caddies, she needs to wake up on caddie-player relationships. Otherwise she’ll just keep doing it.”
Famous Caddie Duo’s:
Matthews contends Ko needs to wake up. Perhaps, however, a more level-headed Ko will emerge when she grows up. As her 20th birthday awaits, Ko has a long and bright future ahead, regardless of who is carrying her bag.