To be honest, I dont think to this day I will ever in my life do an interview with her, Diaz said Friday. It really affected me, and Solheim wasnt a time to talk about it.
Pepper was working for the Golf Channel in Sweden last September when she watched American players continue to squander leads on the final holes and settle for half-points. Diaz and Sherri Steinhauer had to settle for a halve after missing a short putt on the 18th.
Pepper, for years the emotional leader of the American team, thought the channel had gone to a commercial break when she muttered, Chokin freakin dogs.
Her comments reached the U.S. team and Pepper said the next day that she chose the wrong words. She has said this year that she has spoken to every player on that U.S. team except for Diaz and Steinhauer.
Dottie was a family member to me and I dont even see her as a friend any more, said Diaz, whose older brother, Ron, dated Pepper in college. I think that it was a really low blow and highly disappointing, really, because I think that as a golfer you appreciate golf and what we are doing out here. It really affected us in our hearts. Sherri and I thought it was ridiculous really.
It was more of a heart thing than anything else. We had a team that was there to support us and pull us out of it. I dont think Sherri or I will ever look at Dottie the same.
Diaz and Steinhauer are playing at the Womens British Open at Sunningdale where Steinhauer is a three-time champion.
Pepper, reached in Colorado where she is working for NBC Sports at the U.S. Senior Open, was flabbergasted to hear of Diaz comments, especially since she has tried to reach out to her.
The way Laura has chosen to handle the situation publicly is really disappointing, Pepper said in an e-mail. I hope her heart will at some point recognize the comment was not personal, highly emotional and certainly never meant to be heard over the air. I have made myself available to her, but she has chosen not to talk, scream at me or whatever else she feels she needs to do for her peace of mind.