Lydia Ko signs endorsement deal with PXG, picks Gary Matthews to be new caddie

Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ] - January 04, 2017

Lydia Ko has signed an endorsement deal with PXG. She previously had a deal with Callaway Golf. Donald Miralle/Getty ImagesNo. 1-ranked women's golfer Lydia Ko is the latest player to sign an endorsement deal to play PXG golf clubs, the company announced Tuesday.

PXG (Parsons Xtreme Golf) got into the equipment business in 2014 when founder Bob Parsons sought to build high-end, high-performance clubs that also came at a premium price. PXG irons retail for approximately $5,000.

Ko, 19, who is from New Zealand, made another move Tuesday, picking Gary Matthews to be her next caddie.

Matthews, a former caddie for Sergio Garcia, will carry the world No. 1's bags after he caddied for her on a trial basis at the end of last season. Ko parted ways with Australian caddie Jason Hamilton in October last year, after the pair won eight tournaments since pairing up in early 2015. She then went on to split from her coach of the past three years, David Leadbetter, last month. Ko was joined as a PXG endorser by fellow LPGA players Brittany Lang, the reigning U.S. Women's Open champion, Christina Kim and Ryann O'Toole.

Among men who endorse the clubs are major champions Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel, along with Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III, Ryan Moore, James Hahn and Chris Kirk. LPGA players Cristie Kerr and Gerina Piller are also among the company's endorsers.

Ko, who has 19 professional wins, including 14 on the LPGA Tour and two major championships, had been with Callaway Golf. PXG said it was focusing its endorsement expansion this year only on LPGA players as it looks to extend its reach internationally.

Ko's first tournament of the season is the Women's Australian Open on Feb. 16-19 in Adelaide, and she expects to have settled on a coaching replacement by then.

"I can't really say any coach's names yet, because I haven't tried out anyone yet," Ko told GolfChannel.com. "I'm going to see what my options are -- I'll definitely have a coach before going to Australia."

Ko has said she believes it is time to take more responsibility for her game.

"It's important for me to understand more about my swing and my game, no matter who I end up working with," she said. "I think that's going to be really important, so I'm not as reliant on coaches."

Information from the Australian Associated Press was used in this report.

Source: http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/18401989/lydia-ko-signs-endorsement-deal-pxg-picks-gary-matthews-new-caddie

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