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The 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team will not lack for passion and intensity following Meg Mallon's announcement today that Dottie Pepper will serve as an Assistant Captain when the U.S. takes on Europe at the 13th playing of The Solheim Cup at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado, next year. Pepper, whose fiery passion and aggressive play made her one of the most feared members of the U.S. Team, will be making her first U.S. Team appearance since 2000 in her first-ever foray as Assistant Captain. The press conference took place this morning at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open media center on the grounds of Blackwolf Run.
"I want to put the best team around me that I possibly can," Mallon said. "Dottie and I have spent our entire careers together and I know what a great complement she will be to our team. I'm excited for the young American players to get to know her and see her passion for The Solheim Cup."
"I am both honored and thrilled that Meg has asked me to assist in her captaincy of the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup team," Pepper said. "The Solheim Cup was a huge part of my LPGA career and I am anxious to help Meg bring back the Solheim Cup to the U.S.A."
Pepper's Solheim Cup credentials are among the best in history highlighted by a 13-5-2 all-time record in the competition with 14 points scored, putting her third in U.S. Team history behind Juli Inkster (18 Â½) and Mallon (16 Â½). The 46-year-old, who retired from competition on the LPGA Tour in 2004, recorded 17 victories, including two major championships, in her 17 years on Tour. In 1992, she recorded a career-best four victories (she would match the total in 1996) and went on to top the LPGA Official Money List while earning Rolex Player of the Year and Vare Trophy for low scoring average honors.
"I firmly believe that Dottie will be a U.S. Team Captain one day and I know how much being an assistant has already helped me," Mallon added. "I think it's important for any potential captain to be an assistant and I think it's the right fit for her to be on my team."
A native of Saratoga Springs, New York, Pepper was a top amateur player before joining the Furman University golf team, where she was a three-time All-American. She joined the LPGA in 1988 and went on to play in 267 tournaments and earn more than $6.8 million in her career, which puts her at 20th on the LPGA Career Money List. She is currently a member of the NBC golf team and will serve as color analyst at this week's U.S. Women's Open.
"I've had the good fortune to be part of many successful U.S. Solheim Cup teams," Pepper said. "2013 has the makings of another strong team and we have plenty to play for on home soil. As a broadcaster, I'm forced to leave patriotism and rooting bias behind. It's safe to say I've got some red, white, and blue energy to release."
Pepper joins Debbie Massey (2000), Jane Geddes (2002, 2003), Donna Caponi (2005), Beth Daniel (2007), Mallon (2009), Kelly Robbins (2009), Sherri Steinhaur (2011) and Inkster (2011 â€“ playing assistant) as the ninth different Assistant Captain in U.S. Team history.
Mallon expects to add a second Assistant Captain, but not until early 2013.
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