About Us

Ponce De Leon Invitational – History of the Ponce

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Looking to hold a golf challenge with his friends, Neil Thomson decided to introduce a golf event similar to the Ryder Cup in January 2003. In the early days, there was no assurance that there would be enough interest for the tournament to become an annual event. Thomson proposed the event be called The Ponce De Leon Invitational.

Many decisions from the early days of the Tournament remain today. Among these are the 4 rounds of competitive play, allowing the singles matches to be selected by the Captains, and, of course, the Final Round Singles matches.

The first tournament was held the first week of January, 2003 with just 8 players. Typically, the field is 16 strong with a waiting list of at least that many. The Tenth PDL consisted of a 28 man field and was contested in St. Andrews, Scotland and consisted of matches of a team from the U.S. against a team from the United Kingdom.  The Ponce is scheduled each year and played at the World’s finest golf venues. To assist the community, each year a generous contribution is made by the players of the Tournament benefiting a charity that is selected by that year’s Chairman.

We hope that the Ponce stages a golf tournament that is enjoyable to our players, patrons and the golf community.

The Ponce is strictly an invitation Tournament.


Player Biographies (Last Updated in 2016)

Thomson, Neil 41, Attorney in Charleston, SC, Leland Country Club, 15 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (5x), Founder & Chairman Emeritus, MVP 2010, Chairman of PDL I in Scottsdale & Wooden Spoon 2014.
Aide, Michael 43, Real Estate Investor in Atlanta, GA, Redstone GC, 13 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (2X), Chairman of PDL XI: 2013 at the Greenbrier, MVP 2014 and Spirit Award Winner 2015.
Battle, Wes 42, Political and Strategic Communications in Washington DC, 13 Appearances, Chevy Chase Club /Army Navy CC / Timuquana CC / Farmington CC/ Rolling Rock Club, Best Finish: Champion (5x), Chairman and “Champagne” Tony Lema Spirit Award Winner at PDL X in St. Andrews, Scotland in 2012, Spirit Award Winner at PDL XI at the Greenbrier in 2013 & MVP at PDL XIV in Bandon Dunes in 2016.
Bedell, Kirk 42, Solar Energy Sales in New York, NY, Sakonnet Golf Club/ Fisher's Island Club, 2 Appearances, Best Finish: 2nd at PDL XI at the Greenbrier.
Bird, Jeremy 40, Insurance Broker in Atlanta, GA, The Golf Club of Georgia, 14 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (8x), 2 X MVP 2004 & 2015 & Chairman of PDL VII in Palm Springs.
Coulbourn, Clark 42, Software Sales in Richmond, VA, The Country Club of Virginia, 10 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (3x) & Chairman of PDL IX at the Greenbrier.
Garnett, Muscoe 41, Commercial Real Estate in Richmond, VA, Country Club of Virginia, 15 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (3x), MVP 2011 & Chairman of PDL IV in Scottsdale.
Klim, John 41, Investment Banker in Richmond, VA, Country Club of Virginia, 12 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (3x), MVP 2007 & Chairman of PDL II in Orlando.
McAllister, John 41, Documentary Film Producer in Charlottesville, VA, Farmington CC / Kinloch GC/ Keswick Club, 12 Appearances, Best Finish: Tied 2nd & Chairman of PDL V in Sea Island.
Oakey, Henry 42, Lumber & Farming in Charlottesville, VA, Farmington CC, 6 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (2x) & Spirit Award Winner in 2011.
Palmore, Michael 42, Investment Advisor in Richmond, VA, Country Club of Virginia, 14 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (4x), MVP 2006 & 2012, Chairman of PDL VI in Sea Island and PDL XII in Sea Island, 2014 Ted Oakey Spirit Award Winner.
Rankin, Jamie 41, Commercial Real Estate in Atlanta, GA, Country Club of Virginia, Piedmont Driving Club, 14 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (3x), Spirit Award Winner in 2010 & 2015 and the Chairman of PDL III in Palm Beach.
Thomson, Clay 43, Investment Management in Charlottesville, VA, Farmington CC, 9 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (2x) and Spirit Award Winner in 2007.
Wainscott, Bill 44, AKA "The Toaster", Technology Consulting & Sales in Charlotte, NC, 12 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (4x), MVP at PDL VII at PGA West in 2009 and Chairman at PDL XV in Pinehurst.
Winn, Scott 40, Software Sales in San Francisco, CA, The Olympic Club, 11 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion 2007 at PDL V in Sea Island and Spirit Award Winner in 2009.
Gilbane, Dan 41, Family Construction in Houston, TX, River Oaks Country Club, 2nd Appearance. Best Finish: Champion (2016).
Morton, Isaac 41, Ironware in Charleston, SC. Yeamans Hall Club & Wequetonsing Golf Club, 2nd Appearance. Best Finish: 2nd (2014).
McManamy, Patrick 43, Real Estate Attorney in Atlanta, GA. Dunwoody CC, 2nd Appearance. Best Finish: Champion (2014).

Watch the Opening Ceremony Introductions by Captains Dom Clive and Neil Thomson in the Hogan Suite at Carnoustie


Team U.K. Player Biographies (2014)

Biddle, James 36, Corporate Finance in London, Royal St. George’s / Working GC, 2 Appearances

Blake, Dan 36, Bank Director in London, Guards Golfing Society, 2 Appearances

Clive, Dom 36, International Man of Mystery, Royal St. George’s / Sunningdale / Guards Golfing Society, 2 Appearances, Captain of the U.K. Team 2012 at PDL X, Tony Jacklin Award Winner in 2012 and Wooden Spoon 2014 at PDL XII.

Short, Brooke 36, Corporate Advisor in London, New Zealand Golf Club, 2 Appearances

Thompson, Ian 37, Derivatives Broker in Alton, Royal St. George’s / Guards Golfing Society, 2 Appearances, Captain of the U.K. Team 2014 at Ponce XII and MVP.

Barnett, Marcus 35, Landscape Architect in London, Guards Golfing Society, 1 Appearance

Bates, Johnathan, 33, Marketer in London, Royal St. George’s / Liphook GC, 1 Appearance

Birkert, Tom 37, Company Director in London, 1 Appearance

Carroll, Andrew 35, Insurance Broker in London, Royal St. George’s / R& A, 1Appearance

Davidson, Toby 35, London, Royal West Norfolk, 1 Appearance, Member of the British Army

Finch, Rupert 36, Attorney in London, Royal St. George’s and Royal West Norfolk, 1 Appearance, Wooden Spoon 2012

Gilbert, Karl 28, Investment Banker in London, Royal St. George’s, 1 Appearance

Green, Storm 31, London, Guards Golfing Society, 1 Appearance Member of the British Army

Hyde, Nick 29, Attorney in London, Royal St. George’s, 1 Appearance, MVP 2010

Moger, Richard, 37, Consultant in London, RAC Epsom / Guards Golfing Society, 1 Appearance

Westermark, Niklas 29, Energy Trader in London, 1 Appearance


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