''Lydia is a great young lady, we only wish the best for her. We honestly felt that if the decision was left entirely up to her, that she would still be with us.

''Not only did Lydia change her swing and putting coaches, but also her equipment company (Callaway), caddy, workout coach, sports psychologist, and putting grip company. So many changes can be extremely hard to absorb. This year, she even changed her swing coach and caddy once again.

''In a nutshell, it is an interesting story. One that will probably have more questions than answers.

''Lydia can certainly win more tournaments, even Majors, but there's no possible way that she can play better than she played for those first three years. It just goes to show, that not always is the grass greener on the other side of the hill.''

Leadbetter suggested that Ko's father may have played a part in the golfer's loss of form.

He described him as ''a non-accomplished golfer'' who ''heard rumours that she needed to change her swing and made suggestions to Lydia to change it — independently of her coaches''.

''Sean Hogan travelled with her to the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship during the last part of the season [2016] and observed Lydia being very confused [with her swing].

''Amazingly enough, despite all of this, she had an excellent chance of remaining No 1 in the world with a solid finish at the last tournament of the year. She shot 62 (10 under par) in the second round and things seemed to be on track. Her last round, unfortunately, was very average and she just lost out on winning the LPGA Player of the Year.

''In this day and age, we have ways of measuring energy output in the swing. In the last quarter of the year, she had lost 20% of her energy which could only mean one thing - complete fatigue.

''Unfortunately, to the unknowledgeable, this can be misconstrued as experiencing swing issues. Well, you will have swing issues when you're too fatigued to workout, practice, and are mentally drained. At the end of the year, she and her "team" decided that even though she had won five tournaments including a Major earlier in the year, that they wanted to move on.

''This was obviously perfectly within their rights to do so, but it was a shame considering the success that she had with Sean and I. We were very close with Lydia and we were sad about the separation. However, life goes on.''

Ko's current world ranking is 16 and in the seven tournaments she has played this year, she has missed the cut once with his best placing being tied for 10th in the HSBC World Championship in Singapore last month.