Pennant Hills Golf Club's Paige Stubbs

IT WAS a romantic tale straight out of the movies.

Paige Stubbs went from being on the reserve list to playing in this year's NSW Women's Open at Oatlands Golf Club.

Well, almost straight out of the movies.

A romantic film would have had the amateur being a late-starter and then beating the leading professionals in Australia's fourth women's major.

The Pennant Hills member didn't do that.

She shot 77-73 to just miss the cut but had lots of birdies and thrills along the way in her first professional tournament.

It reaffirmed the 21-year-old's decision to go on tour once she finishes her university degrees, a Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Sports Coaching and Exercise Science, in two years. "It was daunting but I was pumped when I was told I could play," she said of standing on the first tee.

She overcame her fear after hitting her five-wood down the fairway and it went 30 metres past the pros' drives.

She then scored four consecutive birdies in her opening holes.

"To play in my first pro event and hit four birdies was the best feeling I've ever had in golf," she said.

She'd started young. It had been love at first drive for Stubbs when her mother signed the youngster and her sister in the Pennant Hills club's junior program. "I used to play cricket but felt there was a better future in golf as a career. Cricket at the time wasn't a big sport for girls plus I loved golf because it provided a challenge. There's a different shot for every game and there's the mental challenge."

And "cricket fashion is boring — I love the different style of clothes the golfers wear. I always have a day where I wear pink."

Going into the Open, her biggest challenge was in not believing in herself.

"But after playing in the first round I began to believe in myself," she said.

She lives by the philosophy: "If things don't work out or go right, it will happen, dreams will come true. Be patient, golf is a silly game."

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