"And just because I hit a bad shot." an incredulous Mochrie still wonders aloud, "it's not her responsibility to try hard?"
Mochrie is 5'6", 130 pounds, and consistently drives the ball about 230 yards. Though she sprays a lot of tee shots (she's ranked 48th on the tour in fairways hit), she recovers nicely with help from her irons (third in greens hit) and her putter (first in birdies). Ammaccapane is an inch shorter than Mochrie and 10 pounds lighter. Her drives average 219 yards (124th on the tour). She can't reach most par 5s in two (20th in eagles), so she relies on accuracy (third in fairways hit) and a wicked short game (third-best at getting up and down from the bunker and an average of 29 putts a round).
Despite their many differences, Mochrie and Ammaccapane have a lot in common. Both players, for instance, were groomed by their fathers. Don Pepper, Mochrie's dad, was a minor league standout in Detroit's organization who made SI's cover in 1968, along with four other promising big league rookies. It didn't matter that he had no sons; he still staged running, fielding and hitting contests between Dottie and her younger sister, Jackie, in the front yard of their home in Wilton, N.Y. When Dottie was eight, grandmother Pepper bought her a Chi Chi Rodriguez junior set, and Dottie began practicing at a driving range.
In Phoenix in 1976, 10-year-old Danielle retired from tennis a few months after taking up the game, following an embarrassing defeat in her very first match. So Ralph Ammaccapane, a restaurant owner with a 15 handicap, brought home a set of cut-down Hogans and taught his oldest daughter another game. "I have a killer instinct," Danielle says proudly. "Running all over the tennis court with nothing to show for it wasn't for me."
Dottie and Danielle both grew up playing against boys who resented their presence on the course. At age 11, when Dot-tie lost a club match-play championship to a boy five years older, the fellow and his friends asked hopefully if she would hang up her spikes. "No way," she replied, then headed for the practice range. Dottie's fifth-grade teacher even warned Lynn Pepper that her daughter was putting way too much pressure on herself. "She was definitely a Type A child," says Lynn.
Later, the boys on Dottie's high school team would love that intensity. After her high school coach saw her hitting at the range, he petitioned the New York State Board of Education for special permission to make her eligible for the all-boys' varsity team. She made the squad as an eighth-grader. Two years later she was the team's No. 1 player.
At Furman, Dottie marched around the course like a marine drill sergeant, glaring at bad shots and celebrating good ones as if she had just stormed the beach at Normandy. Says Mic Potter, the women's coach at Furman, "She's got a competitive drive most people can't even understand."
By contrast, Danielle's male teammates on the Thunderbird High team in Phoenix didn't take kindly to her presence. "It was brutal," Ammaccapane says now. "But I learned to adjust." By her senior year she was one of the top two players on the squad. "In college," Ammaccapane says, "my game went into high gear." She won the first college tournament she entered and then nine more, including the 1985 NCAAs, to set a school record—which still stands—for victories by a female golfer. "She's a fighter, but she doesn't go through emotional highs and lows on the course," says Linda Vollstedt, her college coach. "She tunes everything out and focuses on what she has to do."
If Ammaccapane is still a deep freezer on the course, Mochrie is a human blast furnace, and those differences don't end when they're away from the game. Mochrie's intensity doesn't shut off when she signs her scorecard. She enjoys making her own travel arrangements and managing her own finances on a laptop computer. Her husband of six years, Doug, a former club pro who now negotiates her endorsement deals, calls his wife "a walking time bomb." In fact, after her bouts two years ago with ulcers, colitis and a hiatal hernia, he scooped up the couple's dog, Shank, and joined his wife as a full-time caddie, coach and tranquilizer. Mochrie's health has improved, as has her temperament. At the end of the day she now dotes on Doug and Shank instead of pouting about her round.
Away from the game Ammaccapane couldn't be more carefree. "I hated school, and I was a terrible student," she says, explaining why, despite four years as a student and lots of tutoring, she left Arizona State without a degree. "Too bad ASU couldn't just give me a degree in golf." An agent takes care of her finances while Ammaccapane showers her family and herself with presents. Danielle's idea of making travel arrangements is choosing among her Chevy S-10 Blazer, Nissan 300ZX and Nissan Maxima for trips to the mall. "I get bored very easily," she says. "I have to have change, and I like doing things at a fast pace." Translation: She gets huge credit card bills and an occasional speeding ticket but no ulcers.