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. Twice, the Ponce has taken 14-16 players across the pond to play a United Kingdom team: 2012 in St. Andrews and 2018 in Sunningdale and Royal St. George’s. 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 2018)

Thomson, Neil 42, Attorney in Charleston, SC, Yeamans Hall Club, Wild Dunes Club, Leland Country Club, 16 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (5x), Founder & Chairman Emeritus, MVP 2010, Chairman of PDL I in Scottsdale & Wooden Spoon 2014.
Aide, Michael 44, 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 43, Political and Strategic Communications in Washington DC, 14 Appearances, Chevy Chase Club /Army Navy CC / Timuquana CC / Farmington CC/ Rolling Rock Club, Best Finish: Champion (5x), Chairman (2x) 2018 London/Sandwich & 2012 St. Andrews, MVP at PDL XIV in Bandon Dunes in 2016, Spirit Award Winner (2x) at PDL X in St. Andrews, Scotland in 2012 and PDL XI at the Greenbrier in 2013 & Wooden Spoon 2017.
Bedell, Kirk 43, Solar Energy Sales in New York, NY, Sakonnet Golf Club/ Fisher's Island Club, 3 Appearances, Best Finish: 2nd at PDL XI at the Greenbrier.
Bird, Jeremy 41, Insurance Broker in Atlanta, GA, The Atlanta Country Club, 15 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (8x), 2 X MVP 2004 & 2015 & Chairman of PDL VII in Palm Springs.
Coulbourn, Clark 43, Software Sales in Richmond, VA, The Country Club of Virginia, 11 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (3x) & Chairman of PDL IX at the Greenbrier.
Garnett, Muscoe 42, Commercial Real Estate in Richmond, VA, Country Club of Virginia, 16 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (3x), MVP 2011 & Chairman of PDL IV in Scottsdale.
Klim, John 42, 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 42, Documentary Film Producer in Charlottesville, VA, Farmington CC / Kinloch GC/ Keswick Club, 13 Appearances, Best Finish: Tied 2nd & Chairman of PDL V in Sea Island.
Oakey, Henry 43, Lumber & Farming in Charlottesville, VA, Farmington CC, 6 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (2x) & Spirit Award Winner in 2011.
Palmore, Michael 43, Investment Advisor in Richmond, VA, Country Club of Virginia, 15 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 42, Commercial Real Estate in Atlanta, GA, Country Club of Virginia, Piedmont Driving Club, 16 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (4x), MVP in 2017, Spirit Award Winner in 2010 & 2015 and the Chairman of PDL III in Palm Beach.
Thomson, Clay 44, Investment Management in Charlottesville, VA, Farmington CC, 10 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (2x) and Spirit Award Winner in 2007.
Wainscott, Bill 45, AKA "The Toaster", Technology Consulting & Sales in Charlotte, NC, 13 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (4x), MVP at PDL VII at PGA West in 2009 and Chairman at PDL XV in Pinehurst.
Winn, Scott 41, Software Sales in San Francisco, CA, The Olympic Club, 12 Appearances, Best Finish: Champion (2x) 2017 Pinehurst & 2007 Sea Island, MVP in London/Sandwich 2018 and Spirit Award Winner in 2009 & 2018.
Gilbane, Dan 42, Family Construction in Houston, TX, River Oaks Country Club, 3 Appearances. Best Finish: Champion (2016) and Wooden Spoon Award Winner (2018).
Morton, Isaac 42, Ironware in Charleston, SC. Yeamans Hall Club & Wequetonsing Golf Club, 3 Appearances. Best Finish: 2nd (2014).
McManamy, Patrick 44, Real Estate Attorney in Atlanta, GA. Dunwoody CC, 3 Appearances. Best Finish: Champion 2x(2014/2017). Ted Oakey Spirit Award Winner in 2017.
Harrick, Chris 42, Software in San Francisco, CA. Moraga CC, 3 Appearances. Best Finish: 2nd

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


Team U.K. Player Biographies (2018)

Biddle, James 39, Corporate Finance in London, Royal St. George’s / Working GC, 3 Appearances.

Clive, Dom 39, International Man of Mystery, Royal St. George’s / Sunningdale / Guards Golfing Society, 3 Appearances, Captain of the U.K. Team 2012 & 2018, Tony Jacklin Spirit Award Winner in 2012, Wooden Spoon 2014 at PDL XII & British MVP in 2018.

Thompson, Ian, 40, Derivatives Broker in Alton, Royal St. George’s / Guards Golfing Society, 3 Appearances, Captain of the U.K. Team 2014 at Ponce XII and MVP.

Short, Brooke 39, Corporate Advisor in London, New Zealand Golf Club, 3 Appearances.


Bates, Johnathan, 36, Marketer in London, Royal St. George’s / 2 appearances (2014 & 2018).

Blake, Dan 39, Bank Director in London, Guards Golfing Society, 2 Appearances (2012 & 2014).

Carroll, Andrew 35, Insurance Broker in London, Royal St. George’s / R& A, 2 Appearances (2012 & 2018).

Davidson, Toby 35, Insurance Broker in London, Royal West Norfolk, 2 Appearances (2012 & 2018).

Finch, Rupert 36, Attorney in London, Royal St. George’s and Royal West Norfolk, 2 Appearances (2012 & 2018), Wooden Spoon 2012.

Moger, Richard, 40, Consultant in London, RAC Epsom / Guards Golfing Society, 2 Appearances (2014 & 2018).


Barnett, Marcus 38, Landscape Architect in London, Guards Golfing Society, 1 Appearance (2012).

Birkert, Tom 37, Company Director in London, 1 Appearance (2012).

Crofton, Henry, 38, Real Estate Development, Royal St. George’s, 1 Appearance, Tony Jacklin Spirit co-Award Winner (2018.)

Finnegan, Henry, 35, Asset Management in London, The Berkshire, 1st Appearance (2018).

Garrett, Nick, 35, Real Estate investment in London, Sunningdale/RSG, 1st appearance (2018).

Gibbs, Jamie, 43, Wealth Management in London, Royal Dougarie & Swinley Forest, 1st Appearance (2018) and Wooden Spoon Award Winner (2018).

Gilbert, Karl 31, Investment Banker in London, Royal St. George’s, 1 Appearance (2012).

Green, Storm, 34, London, Guards Golfing Society, 1 Appearance Member of the British Army (2012).

Hyde, Nick, 32, Attorney in London, Royal St. George’s, 1 Appearance, MVP (2012).

Ismail, Bilal, 30, Equity Sales in London, Sunningdale/ RSG, 1 appearance (2018).

Grana, Francesco, 47, Financial Services in London / RSG, 1 appearance, Tony Jacklin Spirit co-award winner (2018).

Spry, Ali, 42, Institutional Sales in London, RSG/ Rye, 1st Appearance (2018).

Westermark, Niklas, 32, Energy Trader in London, 1 Appearance (2012).


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