IN A MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL, Golf Channel analyst Dottie Pepper opined on the 2009 Solheim Cup, which begins on Thursday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Pepper was a six-time Solheim Cup U.S. team member who played on four victorious teams. She compiled an impressive 13-5-2 record.
For starters, did U.S. team captain Beth Daniel get the captain’s picks right?
“Michelle Wie, I believe over the course of this year, earned her spot,” Pepper said. “No wins, but certainly among the players who were in contention for a spot, she was playing the best, despite not qualifying for the U.S. Open going into the matches.”
On Juli Inkster, Pepper said, “ … in my mind she was picked for what the Solheim Cup can do, and that’s bring out the very best in golf, and I believe also what she brings to the team room, and that’s a lot of enthusiasm.”
Some think the U.S. team will overwhelm Europe. Not Pepper.
“I do not believe this is going to be as lopsided as some people predict it will be,” she said. “I believe Alison Nicholas [European team captain] has a much stronger and deeper team than most people think.”
Pepper also said she believed this year’s Solheim Cup would have higher than usual visibility.
“With all of the controversy concerning the LPGA over the last few months, the awareness of this tournament is probably higher than it has been in quite some time. It’s coming at just the right time because I think with the LPGA being in the media, this will be a really positive experience for people to look at this tour and say, you know, it is pretty darn terrific.”
Would Pepper ever consider the U.S. team captaincy?
“At this point with the schedule that I have, I think I would break down and cry because there’s no way to squeeze it in. I would be very honored. But at this point in time, I don’t know how it would be possibly manageable.”
−The Armchair Golfer
2009 Solheim Cup TV Schedule and Notes