Williams: Ko panicking

World number one Lydia Ko's sacking of her caddie was a panic response, former Tiger Woods bagman Steve Williams said on Wednesday.

Fellow New Zealander Williams said that cutting ties with Jason Hamilton might have been an overreaction.

"It's very surprising news," Williams said.

"This is the first form slump of any kind she's had as a professional, and it's only a slight form dip," he told Fairfax New Zealand.

After a stella amateur career, Ko started as a professional with 14 LPGA titles, but her form has fallen away recently.

She finished 51st at the LPGA Championship that finished in South Korea on Sunday.

"It doesn't seem like a reason to release her caddie," Williams said. "Maybe they've hit the panic button a bit early."

Ko has not named a replacement for Hamilton.

Hamilton said his association with Ko ended after nearly two years together.

"She felt like now was a good time to make a change," Hamilton told golfchannel.com. "She said she thought it would be good to get a different set of eyes out there."