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Ko admits parents have major influence

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/12/2016

© Rex Images Lydia Ko has vowed to take ownership of her career, admitting her parents have been a controlling influence until now.

The Kiwi world No.1 ranked golfer says it was her own decision to split from her coach of the last three years, David Leadbetter.

However, most elements of her stellar career have been guided by mother Tina Hyon and father Gina Long - something she says will begin to change.

When Ko split from Leadbetter this month, the renowned British coach advised his former charge to take more responsibility.

Ko responded for the first time on Friday, telling that Leadbetter's point was a valid one.

"I think I have, yes, sometimes been too reliant on my parents because I am so used to being with them," Ko said.

"But I think I need to learn more about taking ownership and making my own decisions."

Ko won four titles in 2016 but her form faded over the last three months, allowing Thailand rival and world No.2 Ariya Jutanugarn to claim several of the season-ending LPGA honours.

Ko's response, at different stages, was to drop her Australian caddy Jason Hamilton, tweak her swing and change her clubs.

The most recent change, to depart the Leadbetter Golf Academy, was one she consulted her parents on.

"They gave their opinions, too. But at the end of the day I made the final decision to change," she said.

"I am very close with my parents. It would be a lie to say that we have never had an argument or I've never been upset because of them. But at the end of the day, even though I may not know at the time, they are wishing the very best for me."

Ko felt stale at the end of the 2016 season and hopes an off-season break can spark her game.

She didn't give details about her coaching or caddie plans.

"I think playing my first tournament of the 2017 season I will get a whole new feeling.

"My biggest goal when playing is to enjoy and have fun. Hopefully these changes will give me more confidence."

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