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September 16, 1998

Pat Hurst

Dottie Pepper


Q. Pat, how are these guys, some of the veterans welcoming you onto the team and what kind of terrible things --

PAT HURST: They're not, no.

DOTTIE PEPPER: We make her play by herself.

PAT HURST: Actually, I wouldn't say it's the veterans. It's the whole team. It's been quite nice because it's like team unity with us staying at the villas and it's just been -- we've been really close, I think. Every night we've been going, eating dinner together. Brought back memories for me, like college and stuff. Going to functions, dressed in the same thing. It's been quite nice. It's been welcoming for I think everybody, not just myself, but I think the whole team.

Q. Dottie, how nerve-racking is this? We've talked some in the past that, any new feelings this week as you're right here getting ready?

DOTTIE PEPPER: No. My personal feeling is that the earliest part of the week is the worst. Semi-formal functions every night and having to raise your hand, can I go to the bathroom, that sort of thing, with minimal time to yourself and people: Where are my passes, where am I staying; that sort of thing. By tomorrow, when the opening ceremonies roll around, it becomes pretty routine, get on the golf part. Really, I think the hardest part is early in the week.

Q. Dottie, did you say the bees are pretty bad out there?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I managed not to get stung yet here this week. This is their worst time of the year. They know they're going to die soon so they're angry and there is not as much food to go around. They're hungry.

Q. Who all got stung today?

PAT HURST: Myself and Brandie on the range just got stung.

Q. Is this something you have to be conscious you have at this time of the year in any tournament?

PAT HURST: There was a lot last week. But I didn't even think -- they were stinging, actually. Like here, I didn't see the bee at all. I felt the sting and then it got -- it was a little bit puffed up. But I didn't think that they were stinging at all and they are. So who knows how many more people are going to get stung.

Q. Is it on the back of your mind knowing they're going around?

PAT HURST: You don't think about it when you're out there. You're over the shot and you're thinking about your shot more than anything else; so I'm not thinking about it out there. Definitely when I'm practicing because that's what I was doing was just practicing and got stung. So when you're out there, it's a whole different ball game.

Q. What do you guys like about what you see with this team? I guess every team is different. Dottie, maybe I should direct that to you.

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think this team is -- I better not say anything unless this is jULI -- I think this team is real flexible. I think the personalties are real compatible. Everybody has just been having a really good time and no matter how little time we've had to do whatever. We really are -- like I mentioned earlier. You're kind of under the gun early in the week to be here at a certain time and dress a certain way and that stuff. When you haven't been in that situation in 104 weeks, that can sometimes make a few people grouchy. But this team has been fabulous. They've really, I think, bonded early. It's been really kind of nice.

Q. Dottie, of the SOLHEIM CUPS you've been in, what's the fondest memory you have of any of them?

DOTTIE PEPPER: My fondest memory? Well, I don't know that any one stands out. Of any that stand out in particular, I guess the match that Brandie and I played in alternate shot in '94 on Saturday. We played particularly well and -- for playing alternate shot, we made an awful lot of birdies. I guess it was on Friday, actually. It was Friday. Played extremely well from a playing standpoint. But I think last year's come back on Sunday from a team standpoint was probably the most moving thing I've been involved with, just to see the flood kind of move over the leader board; it was nothing but U.S.A.s. Just to be -- I was off fairly early, so I got to watch that board change for most of the afternoon and it was pretty impressive.

Q. Dottie, Judy got a question on the teleconference a week or two ago about the U.S. being underdogs. I wondered, with you leading the series 3 to 1 and the way you've played in singles the last two times, why do you think some people, at least, are looking at the Europeans as the favorites?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think they look at the world rankings and see that Laura, Annika, and Lotta are -- I think all three of them are in the top 5. But I think they fail to look at how well and how consistently this particular team we've assembled has played over the last two years. I did a radio interview yesterday where I told them if there was anyone on this team, it was me that was it's weak link. I haven't won in two years and I'm the only one that hasn't. You know, our rookies have won majors in the last 18 months. I think we've put together as good a team as you could possibly hope to put together. Our two picks have both won in the last 3 months. So I just -- I don't see any weak links and that, to me, is -- it's a very coined saying, but you're only as strong as your weakest link and I don't think we have any.

Q. Dottie, if I may, I've been around you when you're playing great in the tournaments and you're always very, very competitive, and I've been around you at SOLHEIM CUP when you put that game face on and there's some sort of transformation that comes over you. You love this whole competition, don't you?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I do. I think what Pat was saying about college golf, that was something I really enjoyed and you don't get to do many things as a team. I think that's why Juli and I have enjoyed Diner's Club as much as we have. It's a chance to play in a team format. Same thing with the J.C. Penney mixed team. It's a fun change. And, gosh, if you can't get excited -- I've said this before -- if you can't get excited about SOLHEIM, my goodness, what a dull life you lead.

Q. If I remember correctly, four years ago you dyed your hair red --

DOTTIE PEPPER: I did my toe nails this year. They're blue.

PAT HURST: She is toning down a bit (Laughs).

Q. So just outer appearance --

DOTTIE PEPPER: Absolutely.

Q. Dottie, how much discussion, if any, has gone so far into possible pairings and for Thursday and Friday?

DOTTIE PEPPER: We haven't had a team meeting about that at all. I think Judy is following what past RYDER CUP teams have -- captains have told her and that was not to let her players tell her who they wanted to play with and I don't think she is going to tell us anything for another 24 hours. I don't think we'll find out much before you do, actually. And I think that's at 1:30 or 2:00 tomorrow afternoon when the first pairings will be turned in.

Q. Are you beginning to feel anxious about this or are you looking at one another saying: What's going to happen?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I don't think so. I think Pat will agree, I think we've got players that we can really put with anybody.

PAT HURST: Definitely.

DOTTIE PEPPER: It makes Judy's job either a lot easier or a lot harder, depending on how you look at it because she does have so many options.

Q. This is for Pat. When you look at your amateur record and then you look at your professional record, both are outstanding. You have got to be looking forward to head-to-head competition again.

PAT HURST: Yeah. I haven't played match-play since -- I want to say 1990. It's been a little while. Every time we go home, we play matches here and there and definitely play match-play. This will be different and I'm looking forward to it just because I've had the success in the past. Different level, definitely. We'll see how it goes. I think it will be a lot of fun.

Q. Any thoughts about the SOLHEIM CUP? I also know you follow the history of women's golf quite a bit, too.

PAT HURST: It's been overwhelming for me, too, from when we showed up on Monday. For me as a rookie, like I said, I've enjoyed every step of it so far with the team being so close and I just feel there's a lot of unity there and it's been a lot of fun so far and I just can't wait to get going. And, you know, it's just going to get that much stronger once the matches start and everyone is going to be pulling for everybody. And, like I said, I can't wait for that to happen.

Q. Pat, Bob Rosberg has said on TV that he used to play matches with you at somewhere. We'll assume that he is honest about that. Did you learn anything from Bob?

PAT HURST: Yeah, I learned that he can take my money real quick. You know, he's won -- I think it was the 1959 PGA Championship, and you can tell. Even though he hasn't picked up a club in, say, 6 months, he can play golf and he's a great guy. He taught me a little about the short game and, from what I've understood, he's like the trash king when he was on the PGA Tour and he's taught me a little bit with my short game.

Q. What about match-play competition? Did you get anything --

PAT HURST: Not about that because we play partners a lot. So it was nothing like that. It was more after the match, after he's taken the money, he feels obligated to do something. So I think little short game tips here and there helped.

Q. So you're buying lessons from him, playing lessons?

PAT HURST: I guess so, yes.

Q. Dottie, when the Europeans were in here earlier, Alison Nicholas made a comment about it was interesting that they expanded the rosters after they won at DALMAHOY and I tried to get her to expand on why she thought it was interesting and she wouldn't. The impression I got is because you guys lost, that's why they did it. What's your take on why the format changed a little bit after '92?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Well, I think it changed -- it didn't just change after '90. It changed from '88 to '90. There were two added players in the '90 matches -- in the '92 matches -- I'm sorry. We started out with 10 and it went to 12, with people as they are now, sitting out matches. And then when we went to the GREENBRIER, it changed yet again because the same number of players played every match and then it changed again. So I don't think -- I don't think it was particularly done in response to that. This is the only year there has not been a change. So I don't think that was --

Q. Was your tour --

DOTTIE PEPPER: I'm not on the committee. I don't know.

Q. Was there the perception back then that the Americans had greater depth?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think we've had greater depth every year. But I don't think that that was any particular reason. Like I said, I'm not on the SOLHEIM CUP Executive Committee. Maybe Bob Canton would be better to answer that question as to why, what the reasoning was. I do know that going in that the RYDER CUP was the model and now it's that. The exception of -- I think they play best ball in the morning and we do it in the afternoon.

Q. Dottie, you said that the American team, there was a lot of combination possibilities. Was that because of compatible games or personalties?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think both. Competitive golf balls. When you get into alternate shot formation, you're also considering what golf balls are playing because you need to pick one. You can't -- you can't go to the odd-numbered holes and have a hard golf ball on a par 5 and play a soft golf ball into a par 3. With the one ball rule in effect, it creates -- you're either going to pair people who don't think they can change golf balls or someone that can change easily, if they happen to play the same golf ball or something completely different.

Q. What golf ball will you be playing and who else on the team might have that golf ball?

DOTTIE PEPPER: There there's a lot of -- we both play the same golf ball, Professional 90. That doesn't make so much difference, but I think better than half our team plays that golf ball. If I knew who I was playing with, do you really think I'd tell you anyway? (Laughs).

Q. When a player asks you for advice about how to handle SOLHEIM CUP, what do you tell them?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Go talk to Judy (Laughs). Nobody has asked me anything. Like I said, I think everybody is just kind of vegging out. This team seems pretty even-keeled and we've had our laughs. It's been fun. I don't think there's anybody that's uncomfortable.

PAT HURST: I think we're just together so much that even out on tour, just as friends, that that definitely helps us.

DOTTIE PEPPER: We e-mail jokes back and forth to each other.

PAT HURST: I think that makes it easier to get paired with or, even if you're paired with someone, I think you feel comfortable with them and I think our whole team is that way amongst just ourselves. We're all comfortable with each other, so it wouldn't really matter who we got paired with, but everyone will be comfortable out there.

Q. If you were going to try to characterize the personality of the American team as well as the personality of the European team, how would you do that and how are you different?

PAT HURST: I've never been in that situation. We haven't -- I haven't dealt with the European team that much yet this week so I couldn't --

DOTTIE PEPPER: I don't think -- we have actually been going opposite directions with tee times spaced apart, photo call at different times for the most part, except for a couple of shots. It's been a busy week going opposite directions and -- I don't even know -- I had to be told who Sophie Gustafson was on Monday morning. Somebody said, "That's Sophie," and I said, "Okay". So I don't know if I could really answer that question. I know this team has, like I said earlier, has been the easiest to bring together as a team and I just think it's been pretty easy to do so far.

Q. Can I ask a ridiculous question which hadn't been brought up but sometimes it gets brought up in RYDER CUP competition. At the start of each year, I know most of you ladies set goals. Is being on the SOLHEIM CUP one of them because, No. 1, whatever, whatever. Can I get your answer, Dottie, and your answer, Pat?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Absolutely. I think you start -- well, looking forward after this week to the year 2000. Knowing that points have already started accumulating -- start accumulating before 2000. It's something I've built my schedule around, absolutely, and knew what I needed to do schedule-wise to make sure I played enough tournaments. This year I even 86'd Monday outings. I think I did one because I knew I needed to be ready to play during the tournament instead of worrying about the bottom line in the bank account. It didn't matter. So there were no outings this year just to make sure I was ready to play and not be worn out doing other things on Mondays.

PAT HURST: I think it's everyone's goal in the LPGA -- in my opinion -- on the LPGA to make the team. I think -- I wasn't really thinking much about it last year, but at the start of this year, like Dottie, I set my schedule towards trying to make the SOLHEIM CUP team and, for me, after DINAH, I kind of switched my schedule a little bit where getting closer to the tournament I took it easy so I can practice on my game a little more. But I think it's every woman's dream to play on the SOLHEIM CUP and be part of representing your country and being proud of that. It's something that each one of us, when we made the team -- you know, you may have known 3 or 4 months back that you have made the team, but once the team is set and done and you know you made the team and it's official, it makes you that much more proud. Last night, all of us got tears in our eyes. It's just something that you look forward to and you look forward for and it's a goal that you have achieved.

Q. Dottie, it seems as though this year as opposed to past SOLHEIM CUPS that I've covered, the players on both sides seem to be more comfortable and not as ill at ease. I realize there is still another day to go. Is that something that you notice? Do you think that's an accurate assessment?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think you have a lot of players that have been there before. Coming to a place like this where it's set up so easily to do, I think it makes the players that much more comfortable. It's kind of a been there, done that situation for MUIRFIELD VILLAGE. Everything is run so smoothly up to this point that about the only thing that seems to throw anything off kilter would be mother nature at this point, and she is even cooperating. So I think everybody is just a little more comfortable and they've all been through this before. Some of us, this is our -- for two us on our team and even more than that on the European team, this is five times around. So we're getting a little more comfortable.

Q. Pat alluded to the satisfaction that all golfers have by playing in this event, yet there are excellent players on tour from other countries that aren't eligible to play. Do you think the time might come when the makeup of the team might change North America versus the rest of the world or something of that nature? Could you speak to that?

DOTTIE PEPPER: My personal feeling that they'll add another tournament similar to the President's Cup before they do that. I think this tournament will stand as its own and there will be an addition with the rest of the global players involved. I think this event, as its own, in my opinion, will stay the way it is.

Q. Do you have any thoughts, Pat?

PAT HURST: I have no thoughts on that. I haven't really thought about it that much. I've only been on tour for four years and that's one of the minute things that I would think about right now. I'm just trying to play.

Q. Dottie, along those lines, will there even be a chance of getting a third team involved? And when you look at the tradition, you are building a tradition. It's not the RYDER CUP yet, maybe it will, maybe not. When a Pacific Rim team could be here, would that help, even though it's Europe against the United States? Is there a way to even think about a third team involved in something like this?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I would be disappointed if it would, to be honest with you. I think this event, as it stands right now because it's modeled after something so traditional and successful such as the RYDER CUP, is the way to leave this event: With all of the best players in the world playing our tour. I think there will come a time -- as I think a senior division -- when it will be time to say: Women's golf is strong enough; we're strong enough as an entity to add a whatever international cup. But for now, I think this is what we have and what we need to continue to build. I think it would dilute this event as it stands right now to put more into the mix. I mean, this event itself is trying to build its tradition and -- I think further confuse people. This is the first time we've had even a format that has repeated itself since we've started. I think it would be, No. 1, confusing, and No. 2, let's make it a challenge to grow women's golf to the point where it's strong enough to have another event like this, say, in the even-numbered years or odd-numbered years, rather.

Q. Dottie, along the lines of you talking about the growth of women's golf, are we narrowing the time where this tour will become a world tour and annex the best events and other parts of the world?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think this is a world tour, to be honest of you.

Q. But not officially?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Not Ohio, yeah. Officially, yeah. I don't know. You get to the point of where a player of Top-10 stature, I think Pat has felt this already this year, the sponsors pull on you to play and it's hard, it's very difficult. If we go to a world tour, it's only going to make that worse and you're going to have -- as they're going to find on the PGA TOUR next year, not everybody is going to play. So you have to be careful about doing that because they're still to go to won't the she man's and Peppers and Hursts and we physically can't do it every week. So I think you have to be careful when do you that because those events that are the strongest on every tour are going to want to remain that way and it's going to be very difficult for that to actually happen.

Q. What if you eliminated some weaker tournaments which would strengthen the overall tour and give you not more tournaments to play, but just explain a broader schedule?

DOTTIE PEPPER: You be the one to tell them that they aren't on the tour anymore after being there for 20 years or whatever.

Q. Every year, you have a tournament or two that goes --

DOTTIE PEPPER: Absolutely.

Q. It could correct itself?

DOTTIE PEPPER: It very well could. Like I said, that's a very tenuous situation where you're going to have to be very careful where who you tell they're not on the tour anymore and how you tell everyone that maybe not everyone in their field is going to be able to play their wish list and may not be able to play every week. I think you -- it's typical of business. When you're growing almost too fast. Sometimes that's what gets you in more trouble than if you slowly plot your way along and I think we're doing a pretty good job of working our way with a solid foundation now.

Q. Are you concerned about the growth of the LPGA TOUR in terms of their purses getting overwhelming in amounts and do you think that might affect your tour?

DOTTIE PEPPER: In what way?

Q. Well, I think a lot of people might look at a tournament and place value to it on the amount of purse that is given, not necessarily a good means, but money attracts people. It attracts fans. Their purses are just getting to be huge and I don't know. Maybe it would overwhelm the tournaments that didn't pay as much money on our tours.

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think they're all -- you might want to -- I think that you take the Senior Tour the Regular Tour, our Tour and keep them as a Tour, we don't have the option to go play for three and-a-half at Bay Hill; so that's not a worry for us. I can't choose to play Bay Hill over Daytona or whatever. Yeah, sure, there's very few events on our tour. If there is a million plus, that wouldn't have 48, 49, 50 of the top 50. But I also think there is an awful lot of very good -- we're still at a point where great golf courses still get get fields and I think there is still quite a bit of parody on the tour with our purses where there is still certain factors of geographical ease of getting there and great golf courses and practice facilities that still draw players as much -- maybe not as much -- but is a consideration along with the purse. And I can't speak for Pat, but I know I sent my tournament schedule every year by No. 1, how many events I can play in a row effectively. And No. 2, whether I like the golf course or not; if they take dogs at the tournament hotel. There is a lot of factors there going into that. (Laughs).

Q. You've made a reference to having tears in your eyes; you got teary-eyed last night. Could you say what that might have been about?

PAT HURST: It was Dottie, actually. No. It was you that made us get tears in our eyes. Everybody had tears in their eyes. We just gave a gift to Judy and I think it was three speeches -- and one by Dottie giving Judy our team gift and it just was really special to all of us to see her be really happy. It just brings us that much closer and I think that's what everyone is getting all emotional about.

DOTTIE PEPPER: Nickname the clean ex-commandos. We're pitiful.

Q. What was the gift? Can you say what that was or no?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Maybe she'll wear it today.

PAT HURST: Maybe she'll wear it. It's beautiful. Ask her. She'll be happy to show you. Very proud of it, I'm sure.

Q. Dottie, was your speech something along the lines of --

DOTTIE PEPPER: It was all of about 10 words. We just gave her her gift and said that we were all just proud to have her as our captain and everybody lost it. (Laughs).

Q. Was it emotional because she said this will be the last time?

DOTTIE PEPPER: It's emotional because she is just a special individual. She ironed my shirt yesterday morning. (Laughs). How many captains would do that? She is just a pretty special individual. And Yippy takes care of the guys like they were his own sons and daughters. It's a great team all around.

Q. Talk about the way Judy manages a team and how she gets involved with you guys.

PAT HURST: Well, I wasn't on the team last time, but my experience so far with her is she's -- there's -- we haven't had any problems as a team, you know, as a whole team. And I think there are -- there probably are problems out there, but she keeps them within herself and we just deal with what we have to deal with. Like here, we come here, do our press conference and there is no problems with that. And I think if there was problems, she can deal with it for us in an easier way than we can. When I was going to San Jose State, my coach used to say it was the littlest details that cost you a major championship, and we haven't dealt with any details because she takes care of everything. And I think that just me being in college golf wasn't that long ago and with my coach at that time being so successful, to me, that's what she is doing in her own way and I think that's why she is so special. She knows how to run a team.

Q. What do you mean by "littlest detail"? Like you said, ironing a shirt?

PAT HURST: Just the little things.

DOTTIE PEPPER: Making sure we knew where the alterations gal was. Making sure that whatever was needed -- Chris Johnson is on a special diet. It was taken care of. Chris knew -- had the person she could contact to make sure she had what she needed. She has just taken care of the smallest of imaginable details. We didn't have enough pillows. She went and got pillows. That sort of thing.

PAT HURST: Just the small things. Things that you wouldn't even think about she has taken care of and I think that's -- like I say, it's the smallest details that might cost you from winning the SOLHEIM CUP because we're worried about: Is Dottie okay; did she sleep well last night; these pillows aren't comfortable or what-have-you. I'm not worrying about that because Judy is taking care of it and we know she is.

Q. What about on the course last time around, Dottie? What do you remember about what Judy has done?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Well, she was always ahead of us, I remember that. And always there on the par 3s where there is a -- in Wales in particular, a lot of the par 3s played elevation changes and there were crosswinds involved and she was always there saying what player hit what so you can start drawing comparisons. I remember one in particular at the 7th hole on Sunday at Wales, she said: "Kelly hit 7." I said: "Oh, well that does me a lot of good." You know, that sort of thing. She does our homework for us, basically, if you want to coin a phrase. She does the stuff that -- making sure passes are at will call. Making sure there is a box there so we can -- with the envelopes ready to go, put your passes in here; we will get them to will call so you don't have to worry about making sure people are taken care of.

PAT HURST: Like today, she says: "After your press conference, Pat, it's okay to go back and take a nap." And then on the golf course, she'll come out and say: This green favors left-to-right shot and you want to be below the pin -- I've been here 10 years and this putt can get fast. Little things like that I think that totally helped the team out a lot.

Q. The Europeans tell us that Pia has got them playing little games around the greens chipping out of bunker shot kind of games, points where the ball lands. Did you guys do anything like that?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Nothing real structured. I think she is letting each player know what has worked for them. We had a couple little chip-offs or whatever when we played today. Dropped the ball from 63 yards at the 9th and put five bucks in and then Brandie whiffed the putt so she didn't get any money anyway. You had to be closest in to make the putt to get the cash. We've played some games that way. But nothing real structured. Although she has had the eagle eye out on the range and she knows who is hitting it good and who's hitting it long. She knows.

Q. If I might, Pat alluded a moment ago and it suddenly just dawned on me what she meant. Judy has been here for the longest time as a course commentator for ABC when they televised the MEMORIAL and they spent a lot of time trying to find out which way putts break and distances. You guys have got a little home court advantage from that.

PAT HURST: I think just being on American soil we have home court advantage.

DOTTIE PEPPER: She is certainly -- she has seen the success and the mistakes of players at the MEMORIAL and she has really filled us in to the -- she was on the 3rd tee yesterday saying: Don't be tempted to let it down the left side, there is really no advantage. The same thing at the 5th: Hugging the right side doesn't do you much good. Simple things as getting more out of your practice rounds so you feel like you're getting more out of a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday situation; so you're that much more comfortable on Friday and know the golf course that much better. She is -- like Pat said, she has been here.

Q. How weird is it with the Europeans and the Americans? You guys play together week after week, most of you, I guess, with the exception of the two players on the European team. You know each other really well and in many cases you're great friends. Is it odd, strange, awkward or any of the above to actually face off against your close friends?


Q. Or maybe you're not close friends?

DOTTIE PEPPER: In fact, Charlotta is coming to my house for a week after Betsy's tournament; so we're very close friends. It's odd in the sense that you -- there are players that are from another tour now. When they're actually part of -- foreign members of our tour. But it's also inherent to that that that's the way your opponents are going to be. It's like I spoke to you earlier last month about how I think the simple fact that the EUROPEAN TOUR as an entity has struggled. As business has made this event more successful because they're coming over to our tour to play. It's the best there is -- is our tour. The fact that they don't have as many events on their schedule and they've struggled a little bit has actually made this event better.

Q. Dottie, with your experience, come Friday, does it make you any less nervous or more confident or do you feel about the same as your --

DOTTIE PEPPER: Well, I think it's more of an anxious, nervous -- like let-'s-get-this-going sort of thing because you've been here -- for me, since Sunday afternoon -- the best part of the week pass by before you really start. I think we're all just anxious to get it going.

Q. Dottie, IN that last answer that you said it's made this event better. Because it's made more of their players, raised their level of play?

DOTTIE PEPPER: And we've had to raise our level of play as well.

Q. I got here late, so if you covered this, just forget it: Shortly after the tournament ends, MUIRFIELD VILLAGE is going to plow up 3 or 4 of its greens and start over. They did 8 last year and they're going to do a number -- 8 last year -- 3 or 4 more the year after and eventually change all of them. From the observations that you made in your practice rounds and from your experience you've had playing in the tour year a couple of years ago, do you observe that the course is in such bad condition that it need to be torn up and redone and really we shouldn't be playing this tournament here now on greens that are about to be rebuilt?

DOTTIE PEPPER: Well, I can tell you the golf course is 110 percent in better shape than it was when we played 3 TOUR. The greens were -- they were stressed.

Q. What time of the year was that?

DOTTIE PEPPER: It was in August. August or September. I think they're really good right now. I also understand they've redone the 7th since the 3 TOUR as well. But I think they raised the level of 7. They were getting ready to tear that up as soon as we finished the 3 TOUR in '95. They may not have done that, but I think it was on the --

Q. I guess my question is: Does it appear to you as an experienced --

DOTTIE PEPPER: It doesn't appear to me that there is anything wrong with them. I don't know what they're looking for in the improvements, either. It may be A tougher change. There may be more dirt going into the sand composition. I don't know.

Q. In addition to changing the quality of the grass, they're going to change the contours a bit.

DOTTIE PEPPER: There's also issues of settling. The golf course is 20-some odd years old and golf courses do settle. Jack, in the past, has done that: Gone back and turned things back out the way they were initially designed. Like I said, I don't know what the goal is for the project, but if that's the case, then whatever.

Q. To sum it up, though, it's going to be playable this week?

DOTTIE PEPPER: I think it's a lot more than playable. I think it's pretty darn good.

Q. You know, that's what I wanted to hear you say.

DOTTIE PEPPER: Absolutely.

LAURA NEAL: With that, we're going to let you guys get out of here.

End of FastScripts....

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