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Robert Klaus never had to guess where he'd find Hannah McKinney.

"When I got to the golf course, I always knew she would be out there on the course somewhere, working on something."

That hard work paid off on Monday as McKinney, a senior at Hughes Springs High School, locked up her athletic and academic future by signing a national letter-of-intent to play golf at East Texas Baptist University.

"Her work ethic has always been great," Klaus said. "She just never gets tired of playing."

It was also pretty easy to find McKinney's name during a tournament. Just look at or near the top of the leader board.

"There might have been three tournaments in her entire career where she didn't medal," Klaus said.

McKinney was the individual district champion as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Her senior season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A year ago as a junior she won the district championship and had rounds of 84 and 85 (179) to place fifth at the Class 3A Region II Tournament at Oak Hurst in Bullard. Her finish at the regional tournament earned her a berth in the University Interscholastic League State Golf Tournament, where she carved out rounds of 93 and 80 (173) to finish 11th out of 70 golfers in the Class 3A competition.

The Lady Mustangs played in just two tournaments this spring before the season was halted.

McKinney is also a standout in the classroom, having completed 18 dual credit college hours. She'll graduate from Hughes Springs with 21 dual credit hours.

"The past four years, I've had two great mentors in Roy Pace and coach Klaus," McKinney said. "They have helped me grow and end up where I am today."

ETBU, located in Marshall, competes in the American Southwest Conference along with Mary Hardin-Baylor, Concordia, UT Dallas, Hardin-Simmons, UC Santa Cruz, LeTourneau, McMurry and Howard Payne.

The Tigers played in two tournaments this spring before the season ended, finishing first in a two-team event at the Pinecrest Intercollegiate in Longview and placing fourth in the 10-team Schreiner Spring Shootout in Kerrville.

ETBU finished fifth in last year's ASC Golf Tournament behind Mary Hardin-Baylor, Concordia, UT Dallas and Hardin-Simmons.

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