The 1999 Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championship golf tournament gets

underway this week at the Gettysvue Polo, Golf and Country Club in

Knoxville. Hosted by Tennessee, the event will showcase 18 of the top

collegiate women's golf teams from around the country. Tee times are at

8:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday off the first and 10th holes and an 8:30

a.m. shotgun start will begin Sunday's play.

"This tournament is going to provide an excellent week of golf," Lady Vol

Head Coach Lori Brock said. "The support of all of our sponsors and of the

community always help make the one of the best tournaments. We have many of

the top 25 teams coming, and all of them can really play. The course is in

great shape and should really give the players a good challenge."

The event in entering its third year and will once again feature several of

the nation's top-ranked teams. Ten of the top 25 squads in the most recent

MasterCard rankings will hit the par 72, 5,985-yard Gettysvue layout. Among

them are Alabama, No. 11 Auburn, No. 1 Duke, No. 24 Florida, No. 21 Furman,

no. 6 Georgia, No. 8 LSU. Memphis, Mississippi, North Carolina, No. 18 Ohio

State, Purdue, No. 19 San Jose State, No. 17 South Carolina, the Swedish

National team, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest, along with the host team, No.

15 Tennessee. In addition, 15 of the teams are among the top 50 in the

Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

Tennessee will send five individuals out onto the hilly course. Sophomores

Young-A Yang and Tina Schneeberger, and freshmen Erin Simmons and Rosanna

Zernatto will all be playing in their third tournament on the season. Yang

posted top-five finishes in the team's first two events, including

third-place at last weekend's Tar Heel Invitational. Schneeberger also

posted a strong performance in North Carolina, ending tied fourth in her

best collegiate finish. Senior Stacey Bergman will round out the Lady Vol

lineup in her return to competitive golf. After undergoing surgery over the

summer, she sat out the first two events of the season.

"We are more prepared for Gettysvue than past years," Brock said. "This

course is like none other that we play in collegiate golf. It is very

demanding, both mentally and physically. I think the lineup we have for the

weekend will work well with the course and the competition. We are all very

confident, starting the season with two strong performances and we're

looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd."