Gwladys Nocera and Jade Schaeffer are hoping that their French flair will allow them to overcome the 17 other nations competing in the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup in Spain next month.
Nocera, the 2008 Ladies European Tour player of the year, is partnered in the third edition of the competition by compatriot Jade Schaeffer, making her debut at the tournament.
Last year at La Sella Resort in Dénia, Alicante, Nocera tied for second place with Anne-Lise Caudal, finishing four strokes behind the winning team from the Netherlands.
Having finished ninth and tenth on the 2009 Henderson Money List respectively, this year Nocera and Schaeffer are more closely matched as players.
While Nocera is now competing on the LPGA in America and Schaeffer remains in France, the players share the same coach in Olivier Leglise.
Reunion Island-born Schaeffer, 23, who won her maiden LET title at the 2009 HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open, will be aiming to draw on the experience of 35-year-old Nocera, who was born in Moulins and has 10 LET titles to her name, all earned over the last four years.
Both players are feeling confident and Schaeffer commented: “I think that the team we are forming has the best chance to win. Gwladys showed that she could reach the top European level!”
Nocera added: “I’m sure we will have some great chances to do a good performance. It will be great fun and everything can happen!”
Nocera faces a significantly stronger field that includes winners of two major championships last year in Anna Nordqvist and Catriona Matthew. Former world no.1 Karrie Webb of Australia, who won the ANZ Ladies Masters in February, will also be a major draw card.
Nocera, who will split her year between the United States and Europe where she has a 10-year exemption, explained why she is excited about returning to La Sella.
“I’m very much looking forward to playing this event. It’s one of my favourites over the season. I really like the format; it’s a good change from what we are used to playing.
“I love it because you don’t only do things for yourself but for a team, plus you represent your country, which you can only be proud of.”
Schaeffer was also brimming with national pride and enthused: “I am really looking forward to participating in this tournament with Gwladys. I am proud to be one of the two chosen players for my country.
“I think that my driving for the power and my putting for the precision are my best assets. Concerning Gwladys, I am sure we can count on her in any golf playing situation. We’ve both been playing in the same tournaments over the last three years and I think our games are complementary enough to reach the winning target.”
Nocera has represented Europe on three Solheim Cup teams while the last time that Schaeffer competed on a team was just before she turned professional in November 2006.
“I have good memories of my amateur career, because I played many times on the French team and I can confirm it was always crowned by a real success,” Schaeffer added.
The third edition of the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup, sponsored by Valencian Community Investments (VCI), takes place from 22-25 April with prize money of €350,000.