Consider it an act of absolution. On Wednesday, Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon announced Dottie Pepper would be an assistant captain for the 2013 American team.
Pepper was, well, peppered with criticism in 2007 when she called the Americans "chokin' freaking dogs" in a comment heard on Golf Channel's air while she thought the telecast of the matches from Sweden was on break. The comment came after the American side had let wins in the final two matches of a Day 2 session slip to ties. Pepper apologized for the comment, but the damage had been done. She was in the doghouse.
"There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret that it happened," Pepper said Wednesday, breaking down into tears.
"There was no ill will on her part," Mallon said, making the announcement. "I felt Dottie needed to stop carrying this burden."
Mallon said Pepper will be a complement to her style. Where Mallon focuses on the big picture, Pepper is detail-oriented. Their love for the Solheim Cup cannot be rivaled. A two-time Kraft Nabisco Championship winner, Pepper was a pox on the European side in her playing career in the matches, carrying a record of 13-5-2 as a member of six different teams.
Mallon had tipped the move in January, when she was announced as captain at the PGA Merchandising Show.
“I’m all about forgiveness, and I think both sides need to step forward to kind of have that healing happen, and it couldn’t happen soon enough for me,” Mallon said, according to Golf Channel. “I’ve spent my whole career with Dottie, and I know her whole heart bleeds red, white and blue. She is so passionate about the Solheim Cup that sometimes that passion comes out in ways that have obviously hurt other people. But I still believe you can get over those hurts, and that she will be a captain someday.”