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Coaching change paying off for Ko at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship


CHASKA, Minn. – Lydia Ko is giving David Whelan a try as a new swing coach.

So far, so good.

Ko got herself in early contention with a 1-under-par 70 Thursday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine National. She’s three shots off the lead.

Whelan, once Paula Creamer’s long-time coach, works with Jessica and Nelly Korda. He’s at Hazeltine helping them and Ko this week. Ko has also had Sean Foley and Chris Mayson look at her swings since leaving Ted Oh back in April.

Full-field scores from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Ko and Whelan spent time on the range Wednesday working on her swing.

“I was like ‘Oh, maybe I could just kind of get insight on what he thinks,’” Ko said. “I think we were trying to simplify it.

“He’s getting me to understand my swing a little bit more, so that even if he’s not there, I’m still able to figure it out. It’s just trying to get a few key points, just to make sure that I can think about it, but not think about it too much . . . just making sure that every shot I hit I’m hitting with confidence and not worrying about it.”

Ko began working with Oh at the beginning of the 2018 season, after leaving Gary Gilchrist, who she worked with for nearly a year. Before that she was with David Leadbetter for three years, after leaving her childhood coach, Guy Wilson, at the end of 2013.