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The Pepper Mill

I've been home from Ireland for two weeks, and I believe now as I did at thetime that the U.S. lost the Ryder Cup on the first four holes in every session.In the 28 matches played, after four holes the U.S. led only seven and was allsquare in only five others. Momentum is never more important than when playingan "away game," especially for an underdog. One of the best bits ofmatch-play advice I ever received came from JoAnne Carner, the 1994 U.S.Solheim Cup captain. Her simple words: "Just go win that first hole." Ifound that mind-set was a key to winning. At the K Club the Europeansdefinitely outplayed the U.S., but when they did it was crucial--early! That'swhere the momentum of each day and each match was decided. A good start by theU.S. would have brought relative silence to the European crowds, and believeme, as a player you can't help but be swept up by the noise (or lack thereof).When you're on foreign soil, silence is golden.

What do Paul Azinger, Mark Brooks, John Daly (right), David Duval, SteveElkington, Lee Janzen, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price and Bob Tway have in common?All are major champions in danger of losing their PGA Tour status. At season'send the top 125 on the money list retain full exempt status, while Nos. 126 to150 get partial status. Azinger (124) is in the best shape, followed by Langer(148), Janzen (168), Duval (171), Tway (176), Elkington (183), Price (188),Brooks (189) and Daly (190). Duval, Price and Tway can use their one-time top50 career money-list exemption in '07 (Azinger and Janzen already have), butthe plight of these players gives you a real perspective on the depth of talenton Tour, the value of a card and how hard it is to keep one.

Dottie Pepper, a17-year veteran of the LPGA tour and an analyst for NBC and the Golf Channel,welcomes questions at