Defending champion Iben Tinning

Tinning is playing in only her second tournament since giving birth to her son Mads in March. The Dane missed the cut by one in her first event of the season two weeks ago in Holland but the defending champion is in ebullient spirit as she prepares to compete for a third BMW Ladies Italian Open title.

Zorzi, who has recorded two top tens in five starts this season, comes to the course refreshed after a two week break and is raring to perform for the home galleries.

“Is nice to be home and if I can produce some magical shots again like last year, there’s no reason why I can’t win,” she said.

In addition to Zorzi, Nocera and Tinning, there is also the surprise home challenge of six-time tournament winner Federica Dassu, who retired from competitive golf at the end of 2003 after winning the Spanish Open. The 49-year-old is considering reigniting her career on the LET. “If I could play well then I might think about coming back on tour part time, but if I won, well, who knows,” she said.

Sophie Sandolo, Stephania Croce, Federica Piovano, Isabella Maconi, Diana Luna and Tullia Calzavara are the other Italians hoping to make a mark on home turf this week at the inland resort course, designed by the Italian David Mezzacane and the American Peter Fazio.

Of the six amateurs in the field, the 16-year-old English player Henrietta Brockway is likely to feature strongly. The Faldo Series protégé is attempting to make her second cut in a Ladies European Tour event after she finished tied for 32nd in last year’s OTP Bank Central European Open in Hungary. In her first appearance on the LET this season, in April’s Tenerife Ladies Open, she missed the halfway cut by one.