Dottie Pepper Returns To TV With ESPN; U.S. Open Set As First Assignment
ESPN yesterday announced that Dottie Pepper has joined the net's golf team, with her first assignment set for next month's U.S. Open. Pepper, who for the last eight years has covered the sport for NBC Sports, Golf Channel and SI, will serve as an analyst, on-course reporter and anchor during live play. She also will appear on "SportsCenter" segments and write for ESPN.com. She will continue her work with the PGA of America and junior golf (ESPN). Pepper said that there was "mutual interest when ESPN called, but it came with a caveat." The AP's Doug Ferguson reported Pepper "wanted to make sure that joining ESPN would not affect Judy Rankin, the longtime ABC Sports and ESPN golf analyst whom Pepper considers a close friend and mentor." Rankin in '99 "suggested that Pepper be hired to work the U.S. Women's Amateur." Pepper said, "They said there was no question we'd be working together. She's a legend." Pepper added that she "missed working television" during the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the PGA Tour's Florida tournaments including The Players Championship, "along with the relationships she formed at NBC Sports" (AP, 5/15).