Nomura started playing golf at age 11. She
won the 2009 Japan Women's Amateur, then turned pro the following
year in December. She attended LPGA Qualifying School, where
she gained limited status for the tour in 2011 by finishing
Nomura did not have too much success playing
on the LPGA tour in 2011 and 2012. She only played one event
in 2013, possibly because she lost LPGA playing privileges
that year and focused on Japan?
But in 2014, she wsa back on the LPGA, and
had markedly improved. That season, she finished 47th on the
money list, earning around $353,000 and notching two top tens,
including her best finish to date, a solo fourth at the Meijer
Nomura returned to tour in 2015 with full
playing status. Although she did not do quite as well, she
did have a tie for tenth at the Sime Darby and a tie for 11th
at the Marathon Classic. She wound up making around $272,000
and finished 66th on the money list, thus keeping category
1 status for 2016.
Nomura also played one event on the KLPGA
tour in 2015, and made the most of it. That event was her
sponsor's, the Hanwha Classic. KLPGA starlet Seon Woo Bae,
who has been on the cusp of winning the past two season, took
an early lead and kept it for several rounds. Entering Sunday,
she had a four shot lead. But on the final hole, Bae struggled,
leaving herself a ten footer for bogey which she missed. Nomura
missed a birdie to win it outright, but beat Bae in a playoff
for her first KLPGA win.
Nomura had a breakthrough season on the LPGA
in 2016, grabbing six top tens and two wins. She broke $1
million in earnings for the first time by collecting $1,228,295,
which gave her a career best 11th place position on the year
ending money list. Her scoring average of 70.29 was more than
a full stroke better than her next best.
Nomura got off to a great start to the season
with back-to-back 13th places. At her third event, she stared
down Lydia Ko to claim the Australian Women's Open, her first
career LPGA win. She would take down Ko again a few months
later at the Swinging Skirts for her second and final win
of the season. Nomura also notched a 2nd place at ShopRite
and a tie for 5th in Thailand.
Meanwhile, she also had her best finishes
in a Major. She had a tie for 11th at the US Women's Open,
then bettered that with a solo 8th at the Evian. This was
her first top ten in a Major.
Nomura, playing for Japan, also managed to
qualify for the International Crown and the Olympics. The
highlight of her week at the Crown was beating Amy Yang in
the singles on Sunday; this loss was the difference between
Korea winning and finishing second to the US. At the Olympics,
Nomura was brilliant. She uncharacteristically whiffed a short
putt early in the week. This turned out to be crucial, as
she finished just a single shot behind China's Shanshan Feng
for the Bronze medal. Still, a tie for 4th (with among other,
Amy Yang!) was a great near miss for Japan and Nomura.
Nomura also defended her title at the Hanwha
Classic, where she was one of several LPGA stars in the field.
But she had to drop out before finishing, and Sung Hyun Park
went on to claim one of her 7 wins in 2016 there.