The University of Missouri, it turns out, is perfect for Cayce Hendrickson.
The Marshall County rising senior has verbally committed to play golf for the Tigers. She fell in love with Missouri on a visit the first week of February, choosing it over Louisville, Murray State and Middle Tennessee State.
"I didn't expect it to be that incredible there," said Hendrickson, who plans to major in business.
A verbal commitment is nonbinding and is essentially an agreement between the coach and athlete that each side won't look elsewhere. Hendrickson's scholarship offer will become official when she signs a National Letter of Intent, which she can do as early as Nov. 12.
Hendrickson won the First Region girls golf championship by one stroke last season, edging 2012 state champion and Calloway County rising senior Anna Hack. Hendrickson then finished tied for 19th at the state tournament last fall by shooting an 83-72-155.
The Tigers tied for 10th at the Southeastern Conference tournament. The SEC had seven schools ranked in the top 25, including Arkansas and South Carolina in the top five, by Golf World.
But Hendrickson has several goals she hopes to accomplish before moving on. She wants to be under par on college tees this season and to improve her drives and putts. The 5-foot-4 golfer also hopes to add a few pounds of muscle.
"People probably look at me more as an underdog because of my size," Hendrickson said.
Lady Marshals coach Vince Doom believes Hendrickson's work ethic will allow her to accomplish her goals, which includes winning a state title. He says she's added about 15 pounds since the season ended and has been working with a swing coach.
As an example of how hard she works, he points to her knack for disappearing right before tournaments. He'll be ready to start discussing course rules with his players or having them fill out sheets, but she'll be off practicing her putts or drives.
"That's just the way she gets herself ready to play," Doom said. "She cannot take a day off."