Lindsey McPherson (Flushing, Michigan) is a rookie on the Symetra Tour and playing in her first Four Winds Invitational this week just three hours from home.
Three years ago, she was one of the top players on the Michigan State golf team and her coach, Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, selected her to compete in the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic. They decided to extend sponsor invites to one golfer at Michigan State and one at Michigan.
McPherson was first introduced to the Meijer team at the tournament and the relationship only grew from there. In 2015, she was completing her masters program in data analytics at Michigan State and was randomly assigned Meijer as her case study company for her final project.
“I was able to connect with a lot of great people that first year,” said McPherson. “I know way more about the inner workings of the Meijer company and all the data. I started to spend more time with them through the project and I told them I was starting my professional career and they gave me the sponsor exemption last year and also sponsored me financially to help me out. They have been a fantastic sponsor and I’m so proud to wear the Meijer logo on my chest and bag.”
In a nutshell, McPherson’s project focused on trying to make big data predictions based on the store information that Meijer provided. They studied what products sell best and what sections of product sell best in different regions.
“Their bottomline was to figure out how they could group stores together so if they wanted to do a marketing campaign just to a section of their stores they could do that. We tried to help them figure out which marketing campaigns would work best in which areas.”
The project definitely strengthened her connection to the company and led to Meijer putting their logo on her hat and golf bag.
“The project got me back in contact with them (Meijer).”
McPherson would have been a sponsor exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic next week, but her best friend is getting married.
McPherson completed her masters program in 2015 and has a contingency plan if golf doesn’t work out. For now, she’s fully invested in crunching the numbers on how to improve on the golf course.
McPherson’s road to her rookie season on Tour was not on the straight and narrow. Her whole family played golf growing up, but she didn’t take to the sport at first.
“I hated golf when I was younger and didn’t start playing until I was 15,” explained McPherson. “It took off from there and I loved it. I was playing basketball and softball and I had an open season so I told my parents I was going out for the golf team.”
McPherson is still adjusting to life as a professional learning how to practice efficiently and get more putts to drop.
“Putting has been my biggest thing that has not been very good,” explained McPherson, who ranks 70th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list in six starts. “I’m 70th on the money list, but my putting statistics are all over the 120’s so my putting is a huge thing I need to work on.”