26 Nov 2014

Ko must take break - coach

1:42 pm on 26 November 2014

Having won the biggest payday in the history of women's golf, it's crucial New Zealand's world number three Lydia Ko now takes a break from the game, says her coach David Leadbetter.

Ko claimed almost $2 million in winning the LPGA's season-ending Tour Championship in Florida and finishing top of the tour's order of merit.

Ko won a three-way sudden death playoff that went to four extra holes.

She finished tied first with Carlota Ciganda of Spain and Julieta Granada of Paraguay after the final round in Florida.

The trio then entered the playoff with Granada the first to drop out after bogeying the second playoff hole.

Ko and Ciganda then tied the third playoff hole before the Spaniard duffed her approach shot on the fourth playoff hole, effectively handing Ko the title, who duly two-putted to claim the monumental payout.

Lydia Ko has finished number one on the LPGA's money list for 2014.

Lydia Ko has finished number one on the LPGA's money list for 2014. Photo: Photosport

Leadbetter says Ko now needs time off to get over some niggly injuries. "It's important for her and this is the thing that I've stressed with her and the parents is that she's got to pace herself."

David Leadbetter - 'it's crucial that Ko has time away from golf'.

David Leadbetter - 'it's crucial that Ko has time away from golf'. Photo: David Leadbetter

"You've got to recharge your batteries every so often so as much as she loves to play and to practice it's good to put the clubs away and just forget about golf for a while and then get back to it nice and fresh."

The $1.9 million prize doubles Ko's career earnings at the end of her rookie season as a professional, in which she won three LPGA titles.

Meanwhile Leadbetter has confirmed Ko intends playing in the New Zealand Women's Golf Open at Clearwater in Christchurch in January.

Lydia Ko's results in 2014:

1st - CME Group Tour Championship

T9th - Lorena Ochoa Invitational

3rd - LPGA Taiwan Championship

T7th - Blue Bay LPGA Classic

29th - LPGA KEB Hanabank Championship

T8th - LPGA Malaysia

T8th - The Evian Championship

T55th - Canadian Open

3rd - LPGA Championship

T12th - LPGA Classic

1st - Marathon Classic

T29th - British Open

T2nd - Arkansas Championship

T15th - US Open

T4th - Manulife LPGA Classic

T48th - Shoprite LPGA Classic

T5th - Kingsmill Championship

1st - Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

T32nd - LPGA LOTTE Championship

T29th - Kraft Nabisco Championship

T61st - Kia Classic

T2nd - JTBC Founders Cup

T15th - HSBC Women's Champions

T19th - LPGA Thailand

T3rd - Australian Women's Open

T7th - LPGA Bahamas Classic

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