JULIE Stephenson only entered the Observer Shield because her lady captain suggested it - but this Sunday she will be in the final.
The housewife faces Green Haworth's Janet Shorrock at her own course, Whalley Golf Club, and admits to be shocked by the whole experience.
She said: "I have only really taken my golf seriously in the last two years and the lady captain suggested I enter. I know it is a prestigious competition and I just thought I would give it a go for the first time. I got a bye in the first round so I thought at least I had made it into the second round! Then I kept winning, even though, in the quarter-final, it was the 20th hole and, in the semi-final, it was the 21st. I am a bit nervous now though."
Julie plays off a handicap of 31 while Janet plays off 18 so Janet will have to give 10 shots to the Whalley player.
"It does seem a lot," admitted Janet, a school secretary at Meadowhead Infant School in Blackburn. "It means there is no room for error from me."
Janet has been competing in the Observer Shield for the last five years and reached the semi-finals last year - but this is her first final appearance. Julie, meanwhile, does have home advantage and is expecting a large following from Whalley.
"That will make it even worse!" she said. "It only really sunk in when I went round the course and people were saying 'See you on Sunday' and I suddenly thought 'Oh my goodness!' I just want to give Janet a good game."