Lydia Ko begins 2018 the same way she started last season – trying something new. The 14-time LPGA winner switched things up in the offseason, working with former playing professional Ted Oh in Phoenix, Ariz. The 20-year-old also has a new caddie on the bag at this week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in veteran looper Jonny Scott, who most recently worked for Karrie Webb. This will be their first week together.
Ko’s management team said “it’s just a normal transition and exploration that everyone does in their offseason. They’ve only been working together for one to two months. She is hoping to make a great result with them.”
Oh, who played in the 1993 U.S. Open at age 16, is based out of Los Angeles but worked five days a week with Ko in Phoenix starting in January. He said their primary focus was on scoring clubs. They spent the first four hours of each day on shorter irons and then the afternoon on short game.
“We’ve got to put sweat into this,” Oh told Ko, and she obliged.
Ko changed her caddie, instructor and equipment (to PXG) in 2017 and was winless on the LPGA for the first time since 2012. At the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, the Kiwi said it was less about the changes she made and more about lost confidence.
Gilchrist said he was grateful for the opportunity to work with one of the “greatest minds in the game.” He only wished they’d had more time.
“Like any marriage you hope it lasts more than one year to make it work,” he said.
Last season three players in Gilchrist’s stable spent time as No. 1 – Shanshan Feng, Ariya Jutanugarn and Ko. Gilchrist still instructs Feng and both Jutanugarn sisters. This winter he also began working with long-hitting Angel Yin and Simin Feng.
Paula Creamer worked the past two years with Gilchrist and then moved on to Kevin Craggs.