Golf Talk Live - Dottie Pepper Transcript Segment 5

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2000, 4:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
AND HERE'S THE QUESTION THAT WAS POSTED TO OUR WEB SITE FOR YOU TONIGHT, DOTTIE. AND IT IS: 'ARE YOU HAPPY IN YOUR NEW MARRIAGE TO RALPH AND HOW HAS IT CHANGED YOUR LIFE?' DEBRA WANTS TO KNOW.

DOTTIE PEPPER
OH WELL, CERTAINLY YES TO THE FIRST QUESTION. AND TO PART B, OH GOSH UM ...

IT'S JUST ... IT'S MADE LIFE FUN. I'VE ... YOU KNOW, I'M MARRIED TO MY BEST FRIEND.

PETER KESSLER
THAT'S A LOT.

DOTTIE PEPPER
AND WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON AND ENJOY, YOU KNOW, JUST ... JUST BEING HOME AND BEING QUOTE-UNQUOTE NORMAL, IF THERE'S A DEFINITION FOR THAT. YOU KNOW, BEING ABLE TO TAKE A NORMAL LIFE ON THE ROAD WITH 2 ANIMALS THAT WE'RE EXTREMELY ATTACHED TO ...

AND ... YOU KNOW, JUST - JUST TAKE A NORMAL LIFE ON THE ROAD HAS MADE ... MADE TRAVELING, WHICH IS THE HARDEST PART OF THIS JOB WITHOUT A DOUBT IN MY MIND, UM, IT'S JUST MADE IT A LOT MORE FUN.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOU WERE HERE, WE FIGURED IT WAS AT LEAST 3 YEARS AGO AND MAY BE 4, FUN WAS NOT A WORD THAT YOU WOULD HAVE GIVEN ME IN YOUR ANSWER AT THAT TIME. YOU WERE ...

DOTTIE PEPPER
PROBABLY NOT.

PETER KESSLER
YOU WERE STILL LOOKING FOR HOW TO HAVE FUN WITH THE BEST FRIEND.

DOTTIE PEPPER
RIGHT, ABSOLUTELY. AND UM ... YOU KNOW, I'VE ... I'VE BEEN VERY BLESSED. IT'S ... IT'S GREAT.

PETER KESSLER
LET'S TAKE A QUESTION FROM MARY ELLEN WHO WANTS TO ASK YOU, I THINK, A TERRIFIC ONE. GO AHEAD, MARY.

MARY ELLEN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN (FEMALE):
HI DOTTIE. HOW ARE YOU?

DOTTIE PEPPER
GOOD. HOW ARE YOU?

MARY ELLEN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN (FEMALE):
GOOD. HEY, I THINK IT'S KIND OF IRONIC THEY SHOWED THAT UH LAST PUTT AT THE OLDS CLASSIC CAUSE MY HUSBAND'S STILL, YOU KNOW, RECOVERING FROM THAT BRUISE I GAVE HIM WHEN I HIT HIM CAUSE I COULDN'T COME AND SEE YOU.

(PETER AND DOTTIE LAUGH)

DOTTIE PEPPER
HE'S PROBABLY NOT THE ONLY ONE.

MARY ELLEN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN (FEMALE):
(LAUGH) WELL, I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU UH, THANK YOU FOR UH SENDING THE MESSAGE BACK AFTER I SENT YOU THE NOTE. SO ...

DOTTIE PEPPER
OH WELL, MY PLEASURE. I ... I ENJOY DOING THE FAN MAIL THING. BUT I'VE ALSO DEVELOPED A LOT OF GREAT RELATIONSHIPS OUT OF THAT. AND UM, IT'S BEEN - IT'S BEEN THAT QUOTE OF - THAT WORD AGAIN, FUN FOR ME, BECAUSE I ...

I'VE GOTTEN A LOT OF UM ... A LOT OF GOOD FEEDBACK FROM STUFF LIKE THAT.

MARY ELLEN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN (FEMALE):
YEAH, WELL UH, MY WHOLE FAMILY'S ROOTING FOR YOU. YOU'RE - YOU'RE PLEASANTLY KNOWN AS 'DOTTIE PEPPERONI' IN MY HOUSE SO ...

DOTTIE PEPPER
WELL, THANK YOU.

MARY ELLEN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN (FEMALE):
MY 3 YEAR OLD, THAT'S WHAT HE CALLS YOU, 'DOTTIE PEPPERONI'.

DOTTIE PEPPER
BEING MARRIED TO AN ITALIAN, I'M SURE RALPH CAN APPRECIATE THAT TOO. (LAUGH)

MARY ELLEN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN (FEMALE):
ANYWAY UM, WHEN YOU DO COME BACK TO DEFEND AT OLDS, WHICH YOU ARE, RIGHT?

DOTTIE PEPPER
ABSOLUTELY.

MARY ELLEN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN (FEMALE):
OKAY. ARE YOU GONNA BRING YOUR DAD IN TO COME AND TAKE PART (???)?

DOTTIE PEPPER
WELL, I'D LIKE TO. UM, YOU KNOW, I'M ... I THINK I'M ONE OF THE FEW TOUR PLAYERS - AND I WOULDN'T SAY FEW, BUT PLAYERS OF MY GENERATION THAT STILL HAS THEIR DAD WORKING. SO I GUESS HE'LL HAVE TO ASK FOR A HALL PASS, BUT WE'LL SEE WHAT WE CAN DO.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOU SPENT TIME WITH JACK NICKLAUS YEARS AGO,

DOTTIE PEPPER
UH-HUH.

PETER KESSLER
JUST THE TWO OF YOU PLAYING A ROUND OF GOLF, AND HE SAID TO YOU ABOUT YOUR GOLF SWING: 'JUST KEEP IT STRAIGHT LINES. KEEP IT SIMPLE.' WHAT'D YOU THINK HE MEANT BY THAT AND DID YOU ACT ON THE ADVICE?

DOTTIE PEPPER
UM, I DID. THERE WERE A COUPLE OF THINGS I SPECIFICALLY TOOK FROM MY TIME WITH HIM THAT UM HAVE HELPED ME A LOT. I CONSIDER MYSELF A PRETTY GOOD FAIRWAY BUNKER PLAYER, WHICH I CONSIDER NICKLAUS THE BEST.

AND I PICKED HIS BRAIN ABOUT THAT. AND THAT WAS ONE OF THOSE THINGS ABOUT PICKING LINES. AND THIS LINE HAPPENED TO BE A LITTLE OPEN TO BECOME ... I THINK WOULD'VE ...

I MEAN, I THINK I'M PRETTY ADEQUATE FROM THERE. AND LIKE I SAID, I THINK HE'S THE BEST SO THAT WAS ONE OF THE KEY THINGS I ALSO - I PICKED UP.

SECONDLY WAS HE AND HIS FAMILY HAD JUST COME BACK FROM A TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS. AND THEY BROUGHT BACK A BUNCH OF SUSHI ... OH MY GOSH, GOT HOOKED. (LAUGH)

SO THAT WAS SECOND. BUT YOU KNOW, BEING DOWN IN JUPITER UM, WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE AROUND JACK AND GARY AND ... AND THE FAMILY AND ...

IT'S ... IT'S BEEN A GREAT MOVE FOR US, BEING IN THAT AREA. AND WE STILL LOVE OUR SUMMERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, BUT FLORIDA HAS BEEN A VERY GOOD MOVE FOR US BECAUSE IT ENABLES ME TO BE IN A REALLY COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT 12 MONTHS A YEAR AND SOME PLACE WHERE I WANT TO GO PRACTICE.

PETER KESSLER
THE TEAM FOR THE SOLHEIM CUP IS TAKING SHAPE. LET'S TAKE A LOOK ON - AT HOW IT STANDS CURRENTLY.

DOTTIE PEPPER
IT IS.

(GRAPHIC SHOWN, TITLE BLOCKED BY TIME CODE:
?? SOLHEIM CUP
?? STANDINGS
POINTS
1. JULI INKSTER 362.30
2. DOTTIE PEPPER 171.52
3. MEG MALLON 151.69
4. SHERRI STEINHAUER 146.96
5. KELLY ROBBINS 134.96
6. ROSIE JONES 96.30 )

PETER KESSLER
AND YOU'RE IN REASONABLY SECURE SHAPE. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR - OF THE WAY THE TEAM IS SHAPING UP IN TERMS OF THE POTENTIAL FOR ANOTHER VICTORY?

DOTTIE PEPPER
I ... I THINK IT'S GREAT. YOU SEE EVERY PLAYER ON THERE HAS AT LEAST 2 YEARS EXPERIENCE, IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN UM ... WITH - YEAH, THAT'S CORRECT, AT LEAST 2 YEARS EXPERIENCE. AND THAT'S THE KEY.

SOLHEIM CUP
STANDINGS
POINTS
7. NANCY SCRANTON 77.40
8. TINA BARRETT 74.07
9. BRANDIE BURTON 69.20
10. MICHELE REDMAN 68.96
11. BECKY IVERSON 66.50
12. KELLI KUEHNE 65.50 )

UM, THE ONE I'M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IS THE PLAYER AT NUMBER 9. AFTER COMING BACK WITH NO PLAY AT ALL IN 1999, SHE'S ALREADY MOVED HERSELF TO 9TH IN THE POINT STANDING. AND SHE'S ANOTHER KEY, KEY ELEMENT OF THAT TEAM.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A MIX OF PLAYERS THAT HAVE EXPERIENCE AND ONES THAT ARE GONNA BE ROOKIES BECAUSE WE'VE ALWAYS HAD THAT GREAT BLEND. AND I THINK ...

I DON'T THINK - WHOEVER'S ON THAT TEAM, I DON'T THINK YOU CAN GO WRONG.

PETER KESSLER
AND - AND BRANDIE'S PRETTY FEISTY LIKE YOU ARE.

DOTTIE PEPPER
MY PARTNER ... (CHUCKLE)

PETER KESSLER
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF PAT BRADLEY AS YOUR CAPTAIN AND LOCH LOMOND, WHERE YOU'RE GONNA PLAY, IN SCOTLAND?

DOTTIE PEPPER
I'VE NOT BEEN TO LOCH LOMOND, BUT PAT HAS KEPT US VERY ABREAST OF WHAT'S GOING ON AND HER IMPRESSIONS OF BEING OVER THERE TWICE NOW PLAYING THE GOLF COURSE, UM, WHAT WE CAN EXPECT WEATHER-WISE,

WHICH IS PROBABLY NOT VERY GOOD. AND SHE'S JUST EXTREMELY ORGANIZED. SHE IS SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. AND I THINK HER TEAM IS TAKING SHAPE THE WAY SHE HAD REALLY ENVISIONED IT. AND I THINK IT'S GONNA BE A GREAT WEEK.

PETER KESSLER
YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN COMFORTABLE BEING WITH YOU AND NOT NECESSARILY NEEDING LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE AROUND. THE ...

DOTTIE PEPPER
YEAH.

PETER KESSLER
YOUR ABILITY TO ... DO YOU STILL FIND YOURSELF AS FASCINATING COMPANY AS YOU ALWAYS HAVE?

DOTTIE PEPPER
SOMETIMES I AMAZE MYSELF. (CHUCKLE)

PETER KESSLER
IN WHAT WAY?

DOTTIE PEPPER
I UM ... YOU KNOW, YOU WOULD THINK THAT PEOPLE THAT ARE ON THE ROAD ALL THE TIME WOULD JUST DO THAT ALL THE TIME. THEY'D BE OUT IN PUBLIC, THAT THEY WOULD WANT TO FEED OFF THAT, THEY NEED THAT SORT OF SUPPORT OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT.

I'M EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. I LIKE TO BE EXTREMELY AWAY FROM IT. UM, BOTH COMMUNITIES WE LIVE IN ARE VERY SMALL AND VERY PRIVATE. AND THAT'S WHERE I'M ... I'M AT MY MOST COMFORTABLE AND JUST PRETTY SIMPLE.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN THEY CALL YOU MRS. SCARINZI WHEN YOU GO INTO THE STORE, THEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE IN GOOD SHAPE, RIGHT?

DOTTIE PEPPER
EXACTLY. (LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK AND TALK ABOUT SOME OF YOUR PEERS ON TOUR WHEN WE RETURN. DON'T GO AWAY.

(DOTTIE ON THE COVER OF GOLF WORLD MAGAZINE SHOWN WITH TITLE 'HEART AND SOLHEIM')

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

“I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

“There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

“I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

“If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

“It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

“I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

“If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”