HALMSTAD, Sweden (AP) — The score after Day 2 of the Solheim Cup: “Chokin’ Dogs” 6 1/2, Europeans 5 1/2.
On a miserable, windblown Saturday in which only half the matches were completed, it was a “choke” comment from former American player Dottie Pepper that made as big a splash as anything her one-time teammates did.
The Americans led 6 1/2-5 1/2, but after they let two victories in the morning matches slip away and settled for ties, Pepper, now an analyst for the Golf Channel, uttered “Chokin’ freakin’ dogs” on the air, thinking the network had already gone to commercial.
It hadn’t, and though that telecast was seen only in North America, word spread quickly to Sweden. Suddenly, the lightning-rod of a player whose likeness was once fashioned into a punching bag by the Europeans at the Solheim Cup was serving up material that could rile her own former team.
“I’m too involved with the Solheim Cup to worry about it,” American captain Betsy King said. “Afterward, I’d be happy to comment about it.”
But many American players were said to be miffed by the comments, and European captain Helen Alfredsson wasn’t pleased, either.
“I think it’s totally inappropriate, no matter what,” she said. “We’re all together in this. At the end of the day, it’s all for women’s golf, and she, if anybody, should know how tough things are.”
Pepper could not immediately be reached for comment after darkness halted play.
Don McGuire, the network’s senior vice president of programming and production, said a technical glitch kept Pepper on the air when she thought she was off.
“Because of the competitor she is, that’s how she felt,” McGuire said. “It certainly wasn’t meant for public consumption.”