Dottie Pepper: Bio of the Intense LPGA Major Winner

Dottie Pepper during the 1999 Nabisco Dinah Shore tournament
Dottie Pepper was an intense competitor who accomplished a lot before injuries cut short her golf career. Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Dottie Pepper was an intense and major-championship winning LPGA player until injuries curtailed her career. She then entered a successful career as a golf broadcaster.

Date of birth: August 17, 1965
Place of birth: Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Nickname: Hot Pepper

Pepper's Victories

LPGA Tour Wins: 17 (listed after Pepper's bio below)

Major Championships: 2

  • Nabisco Dinah Shore: 1992, 1999 (this tournament is now called the ANA Inspiration)

    Awards and Honors for Dottie Pepper

    • LPGA Vare Trophy (low scoring average), 1992
    • LPGA money leader, 1992
    • LPGA Player of the Year, 1992
    • Member, U.S. Solheim Cup team, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000
    • 3-time collegiate All-American

    Quote, Unquote

    • Pepper on playing down the stretch in her victory at the 1992 Nabisco Dinah Shore: "I had a weird sensation that it was my tournament to win. It was strange, because under normal circumstances you feel like throwing up."

    Dottie Pepper Trivia

    • From 1988 to 1995 she competed as Dottie Mochrie.
    • Her 19-under-par finish in the 1999 Kraft Nabisco Championship was the first 19-under finish in major championship history, men or women. She shared the record for lowest score in relation to par in a major until Jason Day reached 20-under at the 2015 PGA Championship. Pepper's LPGA record didn't fall until 2016.

    Biography of Dottie Pepper

    Dottie Pepper was a fierce competitor, not afraid to let her feelings show on the course.

    She started out playing as hot as her temperament until her career was prematurely ended by a series of injuries.

    Pepper's career began with big amateur victories in her home state of New York, winning the 1981 state amateur and the 1981 and 1983 New York Junior Amateur titles. She was a member of the 1981 Junior World Cup team and low amateur at the 1984 U.S. Women's Open.

    She attended Furman University where she was named All-America three times, then turned pro and joined the LPGA Tour in 1987.

    Pepper's first victory came at the 1989 Oldsmobile LPGA Classic in a 5-hole playoff win over Beth Daniel.

    Early in her career, Pepper's temperament didn't always go over well with other players. She was sometimes viewed as rude or standoffish, someone who was not always polite or politic. Some of her fellow competitors called her "Snottie Dottie" during this time.

    Her persona mellowed in later years, but this fiery disposition went over well with fans and produced some great golf. Pepper claimed the first of her two majors - beating another Hall of Famer in a playoff, this time Juli Inkster - at the 1992 Nabisco Dinah Shore (the LPGA major later called the Kraft Nabisco Championship and now the ANA Inspiration).

    She won that event again in 1999 with a record-setting score of 19-under par - still the lowest score in relation to par at any LPGA or PGA Tour major.

    Pepper was a consistent performer throughout the 1990s, leading the tour in wins in 1992 and 1996, in money and scoring in 1992, and finishing no lower than fifth on the money list from 1991-96.

    She also was one of the top players in the first decade of the Solheim Cup, her intensity serving her well in that setting (although not always going over well with her opponents on the European teams).

    She compiled an overall record of 13-5-2 in the matches, including five wins in six singles matches.

    But a series of injuries began cropping up that eventually forced her into early retirement. Pepper missed six weeks in 1995 with rotator cuff and thoracic back sprains. She missed much of 2000 with wrist and back injuries.

    In 2002, she played only once and required shoulder surgery. She retired following the 2004 season.

    When her tournament days ended, Pepper turned to broadcasting. She worked for the Golf Channel and for NBC Sports, both in the booth as an analyst and as a reporter on the golf course.

    In 2012 she began writing a series of children's book; the series is named Bogey Tees Off and the books use golf characters to teach children values such as honesty.

    Pepper's LPGA Tour Wins

    • 1989 Oldsmobile LPGA Classic
    • 1990 Crestar Classic
    • 1992 Nabisco Dinah Shore
    • 1992 Sega Women's Championship
    • 1992 Welch's Classic
    • 1992 Sun-Times Challenge
    • 1993 World Championship of Women's Golf
    • 1994 Chrysler-Plymouth Tournament of Champions
    • 1995 PING/Welch's Championship
    • 1995 McCall's LPGA Classic
    • 1996 Rochester International
    • 1996 ShopRite LPGA Classic
    • 1996 Friendly's Classic
    • 1996 Safeway LPGA Golf Championship
    • 1999 Nabisco Dinah Shore
    • 1999 Oldsmobile Classic
    • 2000 Arch Wireless Championship