The University of Tennessee men's and women's golf teams will be competing

in the SEC Championships this weekend. The men will be in Lexington, Ky.,

and the women will take to the links in Opelika, Ala.

The Lady Vols will be playing on the par-72, 5,891-yard Grand National

Lakes Course. Five golfers will represent Tennessee: senior Jessica

Lindbergh, junior Stacey Bergman and freshmen Young-A Yang, Tina

Schneeberger and Carrie Cole.

Each of the SEC schools will be joining the 13th-ranked Tennessee quintet,

including No. 3 Georgia and No. 14 South Carolina.

Lindbergh enters as the only member of the squad to have previous

experience at an SEC tournament. She finished sixth as a freshman, tied for

19th her sophomore year and tied for 13th last season.

Lindbergh has also played the Grand National layout earlier in her career.

As a freshman, she traveled with the squad to the NCAA East Regional,

hosted by Auburn, shooting 75-73-75--223, on the course to finish seventh

and earn a bid to the NCAA Championships.

Bergman may be a newcomer to the SEC game, but she is not unfamiliar with

conference championships. Last year, as a member of the Iowa squad, she

claimed the individual title at the Big Ten Conference Championships. After

transferring to Tennessee this season, she has competed in seven

tournaments and has a 77.30 stroke average.

The Lady Vol squad will also be bolstered by a trio of freshman: Yang,

Schneeberger and Cole. Yang's first season may be winding down, but she is

not expected to slow her play at her first SEC tourney.

She enters the tournament as one of the nation's top golfers, ranked No. 11

in the Golfweek/Sagarin poll and 14th on the MasterCard list, and is

in contention for SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

She has led the squad on six occasions this season, has five top-10

finishes and tops the squad in stroke average at 74.91.

Schneeberger and Cole have compiled significant stats of their own. Both

have seen significant playing time this season, and Schneeberger has not

missed a tournament and Cole has participated in six.

Following the event, the Lady Vols will break from action for two weeks.

The team then has a strong chance of advancing to the NCAA East Regional

tournament in Columbia, S.C., May 6-8.

Meanwhile, the men's team will be competing on Lexington's "The Champions"

Golf Course, a 7,081-yard course with a par of 72.

The Vols will take on the rest of the conference in a 54-hole tournament,

beginning today.

Tennessee head coach Jim Kelson is confident in his team's ability, and is

eager to surprise people with the outcome of this year's SEC

tournament.

"The Champions Golf Course is a very difficult course, which plays to our

advantage," Kelson said. "We are a good ball-striking team when we play up

to our ability, and I believe we have the capability to go out there and

surprise some people."

Eight of the 12 competing SEC teams are ranked in the top 50 of the

MasterCard Collegiate Golf Ranking's latest poll. Georgia (1st), South

Carolina (9th) and Florida (10th) are among the top 10 teams in the

rankings. Tennessee is currently 31st.

The 1998 defending champion, Georgia, has the most SEC Championship wins

with 22 team titles, followed by Florida with 12 wins.

The Vols have only two team titles and three individual titles during the

history of the championship. Tennessee's team titles came in 1980 and 1990.

Bert Greene (1964), Mickey Mabry (1972) and Mike Sposa (1990) make up the

individual winners for the Orange and White.