At 40 years young, Kristy McPherson hardly qualifies as old. But at LPGA Q-Series, it’s the South Carolina native and Canadian Alena Sharp that share the title of the oldest players in the field. Being surrounded by people 20 years your junior with different habits and lifestyles could get old for some, however, for McPherson it’s something she doesn’t think about too much, afraid to mention it lest she’s compared to somebody’s parent.
“They're a bunch of kids. I could literally be their mother, some of them,” said McPherson of her younger counterparts. “Sharpy definitely makes me feel better when she's here with me. I always say I want to play on tour when Cristie Kerr is playing or Angela Stanford is playing. Always makes me feel better. I played [last week] with [Hye-Jin Choi] who's 30-something in the world. She's really impressive. It's just nice to watch her game and see what the young kids are doing. They hit it a little further than me and I got to chip it and putt it well to be able to compete with them, and I try to avoid the age conversation because I feel like when I ask (a player) how old she is, she's going to point towards her dad when I say 40 and be like, ‘Oh, he's 40.’”
This year proved tough for the 15-year LPGA Tour veteran whose tenure began back in 2007. Her best showing came at the Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg where she finished solo 15th, but she still had eight missed cuts in just 11 appearances, making only $31,670 throughout the calendar year. McPherson ultimately finished 138th place in the Race to the CME Globe, meaning starts would be few and far between in 2022, the reason why she finds herself in Lower Alabama.
“Obviously, at 40 I don't want to be back at Q-Series, but just wasn't a great year,” McPherson said of her season. “We have some sort of status next year but we want to get better status. We know the process and we know that it's a lot of mental game, eight rounds, every shot is important. It's kind of like a U.S. Open. You got to come in here and be mentally strong. It's a tough golf course, a little tougher than last week. The greens are a little crazy here this week. Definitely got to be in the right spot, on the right tier. Pars are good scores this week. It's going to be tougher, which is the kind of golf course you want when you're 40-something. You’d rather it be a tougher golf course to where that will give a better opportunity to move up.”
Even being in not the most ideal of situations, the matter-of-fact McPherson isn’t bitter about her circumstances. Most vets would be aggravated to have to fight for starts after over a decade and change on Tour but McPherson is just going about her business, doing her best to focus on the challenge ahead, and excited to see the direction the LPGA Tour is heading with all of the young talent gaining their footing in the world of professional golf.
“As long as you want to work at it and compete and want to get better at it, then I think you got to come and still chase your dreams. But it's fun to play with (younger players). It's fun to see,” said McPherson. “The LPGA is in a good spot. Got a lot of talent coming up and a lot of the top players in the world out here this week that are going to do well on the LPGA for years to