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Ko to delay search for new caddie

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/10/2016

World No.1 Lydia Ko won't be rushing to pick a new caddie after axing long-term bagman Jason Hamilton, and says there was no ill-feeling when the pair parted ways last week.

The duo combined for 13 titles in their two-year partnership, including two majors, but Ko's fortunes have dipped in the second half of 2016, and she has failed to win a title since July.

The 19-year-old Kiwi has finished 20th or worse at her last three tournaments, including a 51st placing at last week's LPGA event in Incheon.

High profile New Zealand caddie Steve Williams has suggested Hamilton's sacking may have been a panic move, but Ko was at pains to point out there had been no animosity in the split.

"I really think that some people might think I might have ended on bad terms with my former caddie, Jason," Ko told media ahead of the LPGA Tour event in Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

"But no, I really enjoyed working with him the past few years.

"I think sometimes change is a good thing - he's working with another great player, Ha Na Jang, who I think has won three times this year.

"So all the best to that team, too."

Ko, who will be using local caddies for her last two tournaments of the year, was reluctant to speak about Williams's comments.

"With what Steve Williams said, I can't really say anything," she said.

"It's his opinion, and it's what he thinks. What somebody else thinks is really out of my hands, so I guess I have to respect that."

Once the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Florida is over on November 13, Ko will reassess her options for next season.

"I want to get this year done and finish strong and not worry about what's going to come up."

Ko currently sits second on the LPGA money list, trailing world No.2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who also tops the LPGA Tour points standings.

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