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World No.1 Ko says changes a coincidence

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/02/2017 Steve Larkin
Lydia Ko © Getty Images Lydia Ko

World No.1 women's golfer Lydia Ko says coincidence and a quest to improve led her to change coach, caddie and clubs in her off-season.

Ko will open her 2017 season at the Australian Open at Royal Adelaide from Thursday with a new-look team behind her.

"It was a coincidence that it all happened at the same time ... I obviously wasn't planning to say 'hey I want to change everything up'," Ko said in Adelaide.

"I felt like I needed some change.

"Even though I might be the No.1 ranked player in the world I still feel like there's a lot of aspects of my game that I can improve on.

"And I think no matter what ranking you are, you have got to have that mindset because there is always a position for you to get better."

Ko split with her coach from 2013, David Leadbetter, late last year in favour of South African Gary Gilchrist.

She also parted with long-time caddie Australian Jason Hamilton, with South African Gary Matthews now on her bag.

And Ko also left club-manufacturer Callaway, plumping for Parsons Xtreme Golf clubs.

The changes came amid the 19-year-old's first real slump - she hasn't won a tournament since July last year, a stretch of nine LPGA tournaments.

"A lot of things have changed but it's a really exciting time," Ko said.

"I'm confident in the team that I have changed, equipment-wise too.

"I think it's more the excitement factor rather than worrying about 'hey' is this going to work out or not'."

Ko had already noted improvements in distance off the tee, which had never been her strong-suit.

"I have still got the same Callaway ball but the clubs have been great," she said.

"And now obviously with Gary my caddie, this will be my third week working with him.

"We're still in the process of getting to know each other and I think the relationship will hopefully get better as we go on.

"But coach-wise I just wanted to simplify things. I got compliments from other players with the new swing so I think we're going down the right direction."

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