[PHOTO: Andrew Redington]

The start of a new season often comes with change for tour pros, even those who’ve had success. That will be the case for Danielle Kang. The 30-year-old LPGA veteran is defending her title this week when the tour starts its 2023 campaign at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Florida, and she’ll be doing so with a new caddie on her bag.

Golf Digest has learned that Kang and her long-time looper, Olly Brett, will no longer be working together, ending a partnership that began in 2017. Kang and her manager did not respond to requests for comment. Brett told Golf Digest: “We had a great five years and I’m grateful for everything we achieved.”

Brett did not elaborate as to why he and Kang might have parted ways. It’s unclear who Kang will be using at Lake Nona Golf Club.

Brett, a 30-year-old from England, had been on the bag for five of Kang’s six career LPGA victories, along with two Solheim Cups appearances. Their most recent win was last January at Lake Nona.

Danielle Kang and caddie Olly Brett pose with the trophy after winning the 2022 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. [Photo: Julio Aguilar]

Only three months ago at the Mediheal Championship, Kang was effusive with praise for Brett. “He is the hardest working caddie I know,” she said, “Listen, if somebody says he’s an idiot, he is my idiot. He’s been on my bag for six years. He works the hardest out there, so that’s all I can ask for.”

At the beginning of 2022, Kang noted that one of her goals was to win the AIG Women’s British Open for Brett.

“I tried to keep playing [over the cold winter] because my caddie’s dream is to win the British Open,” Kang said in a pre-tournament press conference at the TOC, “so I need [to] figure out how to play in the cold and warm up as fast as I can in the morning so my driver is not ready to go by the 15th hole.”

Kang got off to a quick start in 2022 with a victory at Lake Nona, followed by a runner-up at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. However, health issues complicated the rest of the year, derailing her AIG Women’s Open dreams.

At the US Women’s Open last June, the American star shared that she had been diagnosed with a spinal tumour. It explained why she hadn’t played in April, and why she’d miss nearly three more months that northern summer getting treatment that kept her from playing in the year’s remaining Majors.

In her third start back in September at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Kang and Brett nearly returned to the winner’s circle. Kang battled into a playoff against Atthaya Thitikul after holing out for eagle on the 72nd hole before falling in extra holes.

Kang’s partnership with Brett remained strong at the end of the season. She ended the year with two top-10s in her last three starts, featuring a T-3 at the Mediheal.