Leadbetter Slams MacKenzie For “Complete Ignorance”

Lydia Ko celebrated her 22nd birthday on Wednesday of this week, which prompted a retrospective on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive.

Host Damon Hack quarterbacked a roundtable discussion between former LPGA Tour pro Paige Mackenzie, writer Ryan Lavner and SB Nation’s Brendan Porath. As it tends to with Ko, the discussion centered upon Ko’s early-career success and how, at just 22 years of age, she can get back to her elite level of play.

The segment played out relatively routinely, an interested viewer, Ko’s former swing coach from 2013-2016, David Leadbetter, took exception to Mackenzie’s assertion that Ko’s swing looks better now than it has in years.

David Leadbetter Blames Ko’s Family For Decline

“If you look at what did happen with the swing mechanics, I don’t think (Ko’s lack of success) would be all that surprising,” she said. “The pendulum swung so far in one direction, and then now, it’s swung so far in the other direction that it’s not a surprise that you’re seeing some inconsistent results.

“What will remain to be seen is how this will pay off. I think most of us that cover this game and are analysts love what she’s done recently with the golf swing, love that there is less re-routing, less extra motion. It seems to be more consistent, and will hopefully provide more consistent results for her. But it’s not a surprise that there was a dip in the wins considering what she has changed and gone through.”

Leadbetter responded on Twitter to Mackenzie’s claim, calling her point “complete ignorance.”

Complete ignorance from on the ,” Leadbetter wrote. “Compare Lydia Ko’s results from the past two years with the results from 2014-2016 while we were working together – there’s simply no comparison. How can she say her swing looks better today?

“Surely the results are what count. 12 wins including 2 majors at and , versus 1 win since we parted ways…”

Mackenzie responded that she didn’t intend to take a shot at Leadbetter or any of Ko’s other coaches, simply that she preferred Ko’s current swing than the one that she’s employed previously.

Leadbetter signed off saying that Mackenzie must prefer the aesthetics of a swing over the function of it, finishing by quipping it’s a good thing Jim Furyk didn’t listen to swing critics earlier in his career.

“Well obviously @Paige_Mackenzie, you prefer form over function,” he wrote. “To the current date she’s won 1/3 of her previous earnings from 2014-2016. Plus the fact that she was No. 1 in the world for 85 weeks in a row and is now out of the top ten – that’s a pretty expensive swing change.

“It’s certainly fortunate for @jimfuryk that he didn’t listen to criticism about his swing in the early years…”