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Lydia Ko, 16, fires coach of 11 years

No explanation was given for the dismissal of Guy Wilson by the youngest winner in LPGA history.

TEENAGE GOLF STAR Lydia Ko has split with the only coach she has had since she took up the sport as a 5-year-old.

Guy Wilson, who has worked with the 16-year-old Ko for 11 years, issued a statement saying he was "incredibly disappointed" the partnership is over. Ko has not publicly commented on the decision.

Ko won five professional tournaments - four as an amateur - while coached by Wilson, who said it had "been an honor to help develop Lydia into the No. 4 golfer in the world."

Added Ko: "When I first met her, the golf clubs were taller than she was and she didn't know the first thing about a driver or a putter, but now she has one of the most envied swings in the women's golf world."

Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Ko won the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters 2 weeks ago in Taiwan in her second start as a professional. She won the Women's Canadian Open at 15 last year to become the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history and successfully defended the title this year.


* World Cup leader Tina Wierather, of Liechtenstein, posted the first giant slalom victory of her career at Val d'Isere, France. Wierather leads overall with 595 points from Lara Gut (568), who finished second, and Maria Hoefl-Riesch (535).

* Two-time defending overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher won the giant slalom at Alta Badia, Italy. American Ted Ligety finished third.

* The World Cup Munich city event on Jan. 1 has been called off for lack of snow. Parallel slalom World Cup races for men and women had been scheduled but unseasonably mild weather has forced organizers to give up.

Sport Stops

* The Betfair Hollywood Park closed for good, ending 75 years of racing that featured such thoroughbred stars as Seabiscuit, Triple Crown winners Citation, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, and superstar mare Zenyatta. The track in Inglewood, Calif., will be turned into a residential and retail development starting next year.

* Former major leaguer Alex Cabrera, 42, broke Bo Diaz' Venezuelan record for most home runs in a season. Cabrera's 21st home run, a grand slam, broke the record set in 1980 by the late Phillies catcher. Cabrera played part of the 2000 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has played in Japan ever since.

David Boudia and Sam Dorman won the men's 3-meter synchronized title on the final day of the U.S. Diving Winter Nationals in Austin, Texas. Maren Taylor won the women's 3-meter title, and Steele Johnson took the men's 10-meter title. Anna James and Jessica Parratto won the women's 10-meter synchro title.

* Two-time NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson and 18-year-old Sachia Vickery earned wild-card invitations to the Australian Open by winning the U.S. Tennis Association playoffs in Norcross, Ga. The Australian Open starts Jan. 13.

* Brazilian prosecutors want FIFA and local World Cup organizers to pay nearly $2 million in damages for alleged ticket irregularities at a Confederations Cup venue, Arena Pernambuco. FIFA's agent in tickets sales, MATCH Services, also was included in the court action. Many fans complained that their seats were not as good as shown when they made the purchases. Some allegedly had their views obstructed. Prosecutors said they hope the lawsuit will help prevent the same problem from happening again during next year's World Cup, a tournament for which FIFA has already sold nearly 1.2 million tickets. FIFA and MATCH this month had already been fined more than $200,000 each by consumer rights officials because of the problems at the Arena Pernambuco. Fans said they turned to prosecutors because FIFA and MATCH did nothing after hearing their complaints. For World Cup tickets, FIFA tells fans in advance that they "cannot choose specific seats," only pick between four tickets categories based on stadium location. It also advises that it cannot guarantee that fans will sit next to each other.