If the hometown fans are expecting great things from Cayce Hendrickson in the KHSAA girls state golf championship this week – and they are – that’s OK with Hendrickson.
“I’m expecting great things from myself, as a matter of fact,” the Marshall County junior said.
Great things, as in individual and team championships for herself and the Lady Marshals.
Neither achievement is a longshot, coach Vince Doom feels.
“I think we’re fifth among all the teams” based on region tourney qualifying scores, he said, “and Cayce is in the top 10 individually.”
Hendrickson bested Anna Hack of Calloway County, who followed Caldwell County’s Emma Talley at the head of the pack of formidable young women golfers in the talent-rich First Region over the past several seasons. She claimed medalist honors in the Region 1 tournament in 2010 as an eighth-grader.
In 2009, it was Hack who Hendrickson identified as her measuring stick.
“As a seventh grader, I saw her in the leader group, in the 70s,” Hendrickson said. Hack, also a seventh grader, shot 78 to lead Lone Oak to a runner-up finish in the Region 1 tournament that year.
“I said to myself, ‘I want to catch up with her and be in that group,’” Hendrickson said. “And four years later, here I am.”
This year’s region tourney at Drake Creek Golf Course in Ledbetter marked the first time Hendrickson has ever beaten Hack in tournament play.
“I was excited, but I expected it,” Hendrickson said. She had played eyeball-to-eyeball this year with the former Lone Oak star, who transferred to Calloway County after the 2011-2012 school year.
The Lady Marshals’ 320 score was 19 strokes behind Region 1 winner Calloway County, but tied for fifth statewide behind Calloway (301), Shelby County (307), Louisville Sacred Heart (308) and Lexington Henry Clay (309). Glasgow also carded a 320 to win the Region 4 title.
The Lady Marshals’ score would have won the title in all but three of the state’s 11 regions.
As for the individual standings, Hendrickson’s region-winning score of 72 was three strokes behind Nadine Innes of Ryle and Elsa Moberly of Pulaski County, both individual qualifiers, who shot 69. Leslie Ginter of Henry Clay was third at 70 and five girls tied at 71.
Hendrickson was even with Grace Rose of West Jessamine.
But, perhaps most importantly, Hendrickson won the Region 1 title by defeating the defending Region 1 and state champion – Hack.
The team title will be a team affair. Hendrickson knows her teammates can do better than they managed last week in the region tourney. Of all five Lady Marshals, only seventh-grader Hallie Riley, who carded an 88, had a career-best score.
“She actually shot the same thing as I shot my seventh-grade year” in the regional, Hendrickson said.
Bailey Tyree, Charlstyn Beard and Devan Doss have demonstrated they can shoot much better than the scores they had last week, Doom said. Tyree, a freshman, was second to Hendrickson at 77 while Beard and Doss, the seniors on the squad, shot 83 and 94, respectively.
“Once everybody pulls together,” Hendrickson said, “the title is ours.”
Doom said Henry Clay and two-time defending state champion Sacred Heart are the favorites.
“They’ve been one and two all year, and Calloway right with them,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll come out on Friday and play a really good round going into Saturday.”
Sacred Heart, in search of its eighth state title, finished second in 2009-2010 before winning the last two years’ championships. The Lady Marshals and Lady Lakers are looking for their first state crown.
The 36-hole championship begins Friday, after a practice round on Thursday at the Bowling Green Country Club course.
Doss will be first of the Lady Marshals to tee off in first-round play Friday, on Hole No. 1 at 11:30 a.m. Riley goes off at 11:39, followed by Beard at 11:48, Tyree at 11:57 and Hendrickson at 12:06 p.m.
The Lady Marshals will be in groups with golfers from Region 7 champion Henry Clay and Region 4 titlist Glasgow.
Hendrickson is in a trio with Ginter and Ashton Foushee, who shot 874 for Glasgow.
Hack will tee off at 12:51 in a trio that includes Jordan Webb of Region 5 champion Shelby County and Maddie Hamilton of Region 5 runner-up Sacred Heart. Both shot 71 to tie for regional tournament medalist honors.
The regional low scorers, Innes and Moberly, are grouped with Hannabeth Owens of Rockcastle County. Innes was individual winner in Region 6 and Owens, at 71, was two strokes behind Moberly in the Region 9 tourney. They will tee off on No. 1 at 1:09 p.m.
Individual qualifiers from Region 1 included Teri Doss of Paducah Tilghman and Emily Whitnell of Graves County, who will be in a group with Franklin-Simpson’s Mary Joiner going off No. 10 at 1 p.m.
Mayfield’s Devany Cope and Kaitlyn Isbell will be among the early birds, with Cope teeing off from No.1 at 7:48 a.m. and Isbell in the next group at 7:27.