2019 PDL VII – The Spiders Run Away at Sea Island

Chairman – Patrick McManamy

Date: January 17-21, 2019

Site: Sea Island

THE SPIDERS: Isaac Morton, Neil Thomson, Clay Thomson & Wes Battle

MVP: Wes Battle

Wooden Spoon: Michael Palmore

Spirit Award Winner: Jeremy Bird



Isaac Morton (5.9)
Neil Thomson (9.2)
Clay Thomson (10.4)
Wes Battle (12.2) (MVP / Capt.)

SPF 70 – 2nd Place (11 pts.)
Scott Winn (5.2)
Muscie Garnett (5.7) (Capt.)
James Rankin (7.6)
Bill Wainscott (18.0)

YACKAL’S JACKALS 3rd Place (10 pts.)
Jeremy Bird (2.5)
John Klim (6.7)
Michael Aide (9.8) (Capt.)
Henry Oakey (12.3)

BLACK SUNDAY RISING – 4th Place (9 pts.)
Patrick McManamy (6.5)
Clark Coulbourn (9.2)
Michael Palmore (10.3)
Chris Harrick (10.9) (Capt.)

Tournament Players Guide (PDF) –  Here

Invitation Letter (PDF) – Here

Chairman’s Narrative

The 2019 Ponce came home to Sea Island for the 5th time in its history.  The Ponce has visited the Golden Isles more than any other venue and for good reason.  Once again, the golf courses, staff and amenities did not disappoint.  Most of the players arrived on Thursday and spent time knocking off the rust either playing a leisurely 18 holes on the Retreat course or working on their game at the Performance Center.  The weather was a mild 60 degrees with little to no wind, and it was a perfect day for the guys to get heir games on track.  The Opening Ceremony took place at the newly built Pool House facing west with glorious views of the St. Simons Sound.

Cocktail discussions often centered on a hip replacement, trips to the chiropractor and the general realization that we aren’t getting any younger.    It was fitting to have guest speaker Randy Myers, the Director of Fitness for the US Ryder Cup Team and Sea Island.   In addition to opening our eyes to the analytics in modern day golf fitness, Randy also told behind the scenes stories of the 2018 Ryder Cup experience in France and prior teams as well.    Dinner at the Oak Room and few drinks capped off a great opening day reunion for the 2019 Ponce.

Round 1: Frederica – The Spiders Sweep Four Ball Matches

For the first time a Sea Island Ponce ventured out to Frederica for Round 1.  Again, the weather was perfect with highs approaching 70 degrees and very little wind.  Chairman’s note early on was that Clay came to play in this year’s event.  He was paired with Wes Battle who once again proved to have superhuman strength after a brave first night celebration as they defeated Palmore & Harrick 3&1.  The Spiders pulled ahead early and capped off Round 1 with 4 points.  After enjoying Fred’s warm post round hospitality, the Ponce headed off to Rainbow Island for an Oyster Roast.  Situated alongside the Blackbank River, the guys enjoyed tunes, lots of bourbon and a great low country spread.  Rumor has it that Ian Thompson was spotted at Ziggy’s afterward on the way home, but no one can say for sure.

Round 2:  Spiders Stay Undefeated in Inagural Stableford Matches at Seaside

Round 2 began in familiar territory at the Seaside Course.  Once again the weather cooperated with highs in the 60’s and very little wind.  This year the Ponce introduced a Stableford format, and the Spiders pounced.  Extending their lead by 6 points heading into Sunday, the 2019 Ponce was the Spiders to lose. Wes Battle and Neil Thomson posted the only positive score of the day with a +2 modified stableford score. 2nd place was Winn/Rankin with -6 and McManamy/Palmore with -12.

Round 3: Yackal’s Jackals Destroy Field with -6 under 9 hole Blitz at Seaside

SPF 70 -2

 Although Black Sunday Rising and SPF 70 appeared to be losing the golf, they were clearly out to win the party.  The Ponce somehow made its way to a St. Simons classic, Bennie’s Red Barn.  The record is unclear as to what exactly took place, but everyone was in a good mood on their way back to the Lodge to cap off another great day Poncing.

Round 4: -Seaside Singles:  Battle and Morton Close Out The Ponce for the Spiders in Brutal Conditions

The golf gods clearly thought we were having it too easy.  On Sunday we awoke to an unexpected cold front which brought dropping temperatures and sustained winds approaching 50 miles per hour.  The back 9 of Seaside saw gusts our caddies had never seen before.  Our backswings shortened, our putts went backwards and balls were oscillating on their tees.  Toast shocked the world with a convincing 6&4 win over Clay Thomson early on, but once again it was all Spiders. In the match of the day, Battle outlasted Scotty Winn 1 up. Battle was up 4 after 4 before going down 3 on 13. Battle rallied, winning 4 more holes in a row, making a 30 foot bomb on 17 to take a 1 hole win. The win and the undefeated record earned Battle his 2nd MVP. Runner-up in MVP voting, Isaac Morton also went undefeated for the Spiders, earning an injury default over Jeremy Bird.

After completing our rounds, the locker room never felt so good.  It was NFL Conference Championship Sunday followed by a southern feast that completed yet another epic event and good clean fellowship.

The 2019 Ponce de Leon Golf Invitational is complete, long live the Ponce!

Gratefully yours,

Patrick McManamy, 2019 Chairman


Thursday, January 17th

12:30 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Practice Round Tee Times – Retreat Course

6:30 P.M.
Opening Cocktail Reception – The Lodge Pool
(Jacket. Tie is optional)

Friday, January 18th

9:00 A.M.
Shuttle Pick-up at Lodge lobby

10:30 A.M.
1st Round – Frederica Golf Club for Four Ball Competition – 1 walking caddy per 2 players

3:30 P.M.
Post Round Drinks – Frederica Golf Club

6:00 P.M.
Dinner – Oyster Roast at Rainbow Island

* Note – Players shall pack bags for casual evening wear. Sea Island Shuttle will transport clubs and bags back to the Lodge allowing for post round shower at Frederica. Shuttle directly to Rainbow Island.

Saturday, January 19th

9:20 A.M.
2nd Round Four Ball Competition – Seaside Course

2:00 P.M.
Unstructured Grab and Go Lunch at the Halfway House

2:30 P.M.
3rd Round – 9 Hole Blitz – Seaside Course
Captains Choice – Four Man Scramble

5:00 P.M.
Cocktails – The Lodge Men’s Lounge
Captains’ Choice Draft

6:00 P.M.
UVA vs. Duke Basketball (No planned dinner event)

10:30 P.M.
Ziggy’s – Ian Thompson Night

Sunday, January 20th

9:20 A.M. 4th Round Singles Competition – Seaside Course
1 walking caddy per 2 players

3:00 P.M. Cocktails – The Lodge Men’s Lounge
NFL Conference Championships

7:00 P.M. Champions Dinner – The Lodge Men’s Lounge
(Private Event)