His answer came quickly."When I was spending more time rehabbing than getting better at my game," he said about his sport, his profession and his life, having won 34 top-level professional events and one Grand Slam title.
After Tiger Woods withdrew, citing back spasms, from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, where he opened with a 77, we are getting closer to the time when he will have to make that difficult decision of whether to continue to push forward with yet another comeback, or retire from competition.
I suddenly had more time to do things that I didn't as a full-time player, and I developed many more interests.
I needed to play a little bit angry, and that just wasn't there anymore.
Looking at a competitor's "death" on the field made me realize there was so much more life ahead -- it just wasn't on a golf course, week in and week out.
During the 2007 Solheim Cup, Pepper caused some stir while working as commentator for the Golf Channel.
She called the American team "choking freaking dogs".
Spending 17 years on the LPGA Tour, I played in countless pro-ams, but the one that stands out most was at the 2004 ANA Inspiration -- formerly the Dinah Shore -- a major I already had won twice.
With the great fortune of being paired with Michael Chang, who had recently retired from the ATP tour, I asked him when he knew it was time to face what has been termed by some as the "first death of an athlete" -- retirement from competition -- since I had already gone through one shoulder surgery and faced the likelihood of another.
Pepper thought the network had cut to commercial when the comment was uttered, but it was actually still broadcasting live.
Some players and fans were upset by this and Pepper quickly apologized for her "poor choice of words".
She won the 1981 state amateur and the 19 New York Junior Amateur titles. She attended Furman University where she earned five collegiate victories and was named All-American three times.
She was a member of the 1981 Junior World Cup team and low amateur at the 1984 U. She joined the LPGA Tour in 1988 and won 17 official events on the Tour, including two major championships: the 19 Nabisco Dinah Shores.
Chang's simple answer gave me an enormous amount of freedom and peace.