Only this time, despite tackling the same hilly, 5,735- yard course they played less than a week ago, the stage will be much bigger.
Hunt and Godwin will be teeing off in the state 4A girls golf championships, a destination both were hoping to end up when the season first got underway.
“My goal all season was to qualify and seeing that accomplished, it was so exciting and an amazing feeling,” Godwin said.
The freshman qualified for state after shooting a 91 to tie for 12th place at the 4A central regionals last Tuesday.
“When I found out (Meredith) made it,” Hunt said, “I was like, ‘I want to go watch you play at state even if I don’t qualify, I just want to be there for you like you were there for me’.”
Turned out Hunt would be joining Godwin as a competitor, not a spectator. She survived a five-player playoff hole after carding a 98 to squeeze into the state-qualifying field.
“It was very important because I was a senior and I wanted to go to state,” she said. “I had worked really hard this summer and practiced a lot, so I think I worked hard enough for it.”
The Lady Rams’ pair also have each other to thank for their state-bound success on the links, according to Swett head coach Jamie Locklear.
“For Meredith, here she is a freshman and she’s made Jade have to work so much harder,” Locklear said. He noted that Hunt, whose scores hovered in the 100s last year, has routinely shot in the 90s and 80s this fall. “Both of them are good friends. It’s just good to see them qualify together.”
A fact that seemed slim after Hunt’s 98 at regionals. So slim in fact, Locklear and Hunt were not even on the course, rather at Chick-fil-A in Southern Pines, when it was announced that the Swett senior was locked in a five-player tie with three state-spots remaining.
“We had to hurry up and get to the course,” Hunt said. “(When we got there) I didn’t have my golf shoes on or nothing, I had to take my golf bag out of the trunk and run to the hole No. 1.”
Despite hitting into the bunker, Hunt — who said she took deep breaths and tried not to worry about the audience — settled in and worked her way to a double-bogey on a long par-4 hole, which proved good enough to make the state cut. The realization brought on a wave of emotions for the Lady Rams senior. And her teammates.
“The girls were coming up to me, my teammates, and were like, ‘Oh my gosh, Jade, you just made it to state’,” Hunt said. “I started crying, and everybody started crying. It was an emotional time.”
Added Godwin: “I was so happy (for Jade). It was like the best day ever.”
Perhaps Monday, once again at Pinehurst No. 6, will supersede it. Godwin tees off at 10 a.m. while Hunt follows at 10:10.
“I just want to go out and have fun,” said Hunt, the daughter of Jeff and Rhona Hunt. “I mean, I’ve made it to state, so there’s not really a crazy amount of — there’s going to be pressure, obviously — but there’s not necessarily a score you have to bring in. You just have to go out there and do your best and have fun and play.
Godwin, the daughter of Michael and Carolyn Godwin, is taking the same philosophy to the state championships.
“I just want to do my best, whatever happens is meant to be,” Godwin said.