Ko and Callaway, Could It Be Calamitous. December 30 2013
Lydia Ko / Getty Images
Not long after ditching her longtime coach, Guy Wilson, 16-year-old Lydia has now reportedly signed a deal with the American manufacturer Callaway Golf, securing the Kiwi teenager on a probably highly lucrative deal. A Callaway 2014-season staff bag has been seen with Lydia's name embroidered on the front panel, a very strong indicator that she has joined the company's professional roster.
Lydia recently visited a Callaway fitting center in the United States where she met world men's # 5 and Callaway's star asset, five-time major champion Phil Mickelson.
On parting with her coach and mentor Guy Wilson, Lydia said;"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. That means I'd only see him like ten 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. "It's obviously sad to stop with Guy, because he's been a great coach and a great friend as well. But it's just important to know that we still are good friends, which is quite good because sometimes it might not end well in both ways. I'm just lucky that we can still be friends." Guy issued this statement; It's been an honour to help develop Lydia into the number four golfer in the world. 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 of the women's golf world. "We've spent a lot of time together over the past decade and during that time I've become very close to Lydia and her family. While I'm incredibly disappointed that our 11 year partnership is over, I respect Lydia and her team's decision. Lydia's consistent and outstanding performance is the ultimate payback for any coach and it has been truly wonderful working with someone with her talent, dedication and focus. I wish Lydia all the best and will watch proudly as she embarks on what I'm sure will be a hugely successful golfing career. The Institute of Golf team and I will continue to work with other young golfers keen to follow in Lydia's footsteps and professionals like NZ number one Michael Hendry in the future."
I wonder who has been advising her, a new coach, new equipment and a new love interest, sounds like a repeat of Rory McIlroy's rocky last year.
Another young Kiwi golfer, Danny Lee, joined the company in a deal reportedly worth about $1.2 million, in 2009, after also agreeing management terms, supposedly worth about $12.2m, with IMG, and he has not reached his potential yet. Lydia also signed with IMG six days ago.
I just hope that history does not repeat itself and we witness the collapse of a great talent, Rory was the world number one, was a bit older and more experienced, and he could not handle the pressure.