The Kraft Nabisco is notable because the winner traditionally takes a jump into Poppie’s Pond and Nocera would love to take that plunge. This is her game plan: “I want to start off well in the first round because usually I don’t play too well in the first round. I played really well at the HSBC Women’s Champions; shot three under and then it was really easy to just keep going for the rest of the tournament. Mostly I’d like to just play my game and not worry about it being a major or playing in the US. I just want to enjoy myself and play my best.”
Should her five year major plan not come off, Nocera says that she will keep on trying for as long as it takes. Her challengers will include this week’s defending champion Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, who is the World No.1, Suzann Pettersen, who tied for second with Annika Sorenstam last year, World No.2 Yani Tseng and No.3 Jiyai Shin.
Nocera is 92nd on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings but says that she has no wish to try to improve her rating by playing full-time in the United States. She says that she enjoys her life in Europe too much and she has also just bought a new apartment, near Geneva in Switzerland. Travelling full time can be tough. “It’s hard to be home for just one day and have to leave again,” she said.
With her major goals and a place on this year’s European Solheim Cup Team virtually guaranteed, Nocera is likely to be making more trips to the USA this year than ever before. Yet for all the travelling to the States, the title that she would most like to seal would be the RICOH Women’s British Open, which takes place this year at Royal Lytham and St Annes in August.
Wouldn’t it be fitting if this ardent Ladies European Tour supporter could break her major duck in her own back yard?