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World No. 1 Lydia Ko will begin 2023 with a new caddie despite stellar comeback campaign

Lydia Ko will start 2023 with a new caddie.

After ending 2022 with a victory at the CME Group Tour Championship, rising to World No. 1 and claiming the Rolex Player of the Year award and Vare Trophy for low scoring average, Ko rather shockingly decided it was time for a change.

The 25-year-old Kiwi will begin her 2023 season next week at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International with David Jones on her bag, Ko’s sister and manager Sura confirmed to Golfweek. The pair previously worked together at the 2021 Lotte Championship, where Ko snapped a 1,084-day drought with a seven-stroke victory.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand’s caddie, Derek Kistler, celebrates on the 18th green after winning the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club on November 20, 2022 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Jones, who most recently caddied for Nick Taylor on the PGA Tour, was on the bag for In Gee Chun when she won the 2016 Evian Championship and for Sung Hyun Park’s two major titles at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA.

Ko had Derek Kistler on the bag for last season’s stellar comeback and half of 2021. Ko’s team didn’t want to comment on any reasons why she decided to make a change.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand walks up to the 16th green during the final round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on April 17, 2021 in Kapolei, Hawaii. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ko is aware that she has a bit of reputation when it comes to caddies. Even those who have experienced great success with Ko aren’t safe from a pink slip.

When she was awarded the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year in 2014, a teenaged Ko joked with the crowd at the Rolex LPGA Award Banquet when it came time to thank all the men who had carried her bag.

“This is the funny part, you see,” she said. “I want to thank Scott, Mark, Steve, Steve, Domingo, Fluff, Greg, Jason.”

And the list goes on …



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