Early Vegas Odds…Says The Little General


From the Desk of The Little General (Michael Palmore)…

IMG_1628MG 26





Early Vegas Odds have been released (in order of finish):

1) Cappy/Tucker – Arguably the greatest Ponce player of all time gets the nod as the favorite

2) Rankin/Clarkson – Dynamic Duo – longtime friends may be tough to beat

3) Palmore/Bayler – Cagey Team

4) Muscoe/Morton – Muscoe’s individual stats are hard to argue, but this is a team game

5) N Thomson/Stevenson – coming off receiving the “Wooden Spoon” Thomson has something to prove

6) Coulbourn/Strong – can the San Francisco connection lead this team to a surprise win

7) Winn/Adatto – EMT Wheelout keeps Winn from being in the Top 3

8) Oakey/Leahy – “I think my 7 should be enough… Please lay up… It is only 150 yards carry… Please lay up

9) McAllister/Burpee – Unlike his bridge playing ability, not a great Ponce track record

10) C Thomson/Dupuy – Tough to Chair the event and win the event

11) Klim/Jefferson – the trick will be if Klim can keep Jefferson golf focused over 3 tournament days…

12) Battle/Lucas – Ring Leader of the 3W’s

13) Aide/? – Vegas is betting against a back to back performance from Yackal Aide

14) Toaster/Biggers – Toast is more focused on Casino winning

Field Complete: Teams 12-14 Announced

Clay Thomson, 2015 Ponce Chairman, recently announced that the field is complete with 14 teams and 28 players.



BurpeeIt is with great pleasure that John McAllister welcomes his guest to the 2015 PDL member-guest, Craig Burpee.   As evidenced by his profile picture, Craig has been working on his game religiously since receiving the invite.   At 51, he is a commercial pilot and flies the Boeing 777 internationally for United Airlines, having been with United since 1995.  Prior to United, Craig flew P-3 Orions in the U.S. Navy and naval reserves for 20 and a half years.  A native of Maine, he graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1986 and has lived in Virginia since 2005.   Craig has been a member of Farmington C.C. since 2006 where he currently plays to a 7.1 index.  Noting he is giving up 10+ years to the majority of the field, he hopes to make up for what he’s lost in yardage with what he’s gained in tournament experience and has, in fact, won some of Farmington’s more fabled events including the 2014 Trick or Treat tournament (low net AND best costume – unprecedented in tournament history) and more recently the 2015 Spring Mixed (low net, first flight) of which he says, “If my wife could make a four foot, downhill,  left-to-righter we’d have won low gross.”  Craig lives in Charlottesville with said wife, Tracy, and two cats, appropriately named Lindy and Amelia.  Greatest golf memory:  Shooting even-par 36 on the front nine of Pacific Dunes in a three club wind.  Worst golf memory:  Shooting a 13 over-par 48 on the back nine of Pacific Dunes after playing the front even.

Current Handicap Index: 7.1





Bobby Biggers grew up in Charlotte NC, graduated from the University of Alabama. Marrried for 10 years to Sarah Bisland, he has two kids, Stella Ann 5 and Preston 3. Bobby has worked for Morgan Stanley for over 20 years.

He plays golf at Carmel Country club in Charlotte and carries a 15 index.

Hobbies include eating McRibs, watching tons of porn and tickling dudes when he is drunk.  He is amphibious and can hit from both sides.

He is looking forward to the wooden spoon.

Current Handicap Index: 15





Michael Aide’s guest is Jarrett Morrell, another Woodberry Forest alum in this year’s Ponce. Jarrett grew up in Washington, DC and graduated from Woodberry in ’91 along with Michael and fellow Ponce veteran Clay Thomson.  He earned a BSBA from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.  His most crowning achievement however was marrying his wife of 13 years Adrienne.  Jarrett is a Vice President in commercial real estate at Colliers International.

Jarrett and Adrienne reside in Bethesda, MD with their three children Greer (8), Charlotte (7), and Anders (5).

Jarrett has tracked the Ponce closely over the years and his love of the game is evident by his most recent run of trips to the Homestead, Pine Valley, Pikewood National, Pete Dye Golf Club, WFS Father/Son weekend, and the Chevy Chase Member Guest.  I’m confident he will continue his torrid golf schedule in preparation of the inaugural Ponce Member Guest.

Jarrett is a member of Chevy Chase Club. While he’s not spending time with his family, working, or playing golf, his passion lies in all things DC sports in particular the Georgetown Hoyas.  He is also known to belt out a few tunes from time to time should a band or karaoke bar be anywhere in his vicinity.  While Jarrett has had a good run of golf trips this summer, the highlight thus far was road tripping to Pittsburgh with his wife and two girls to catch his 21st Rolling Stones show.

Current handicap index: 13


Teams Previously Announced

1. Jeremy Bird and Kav Tucker (2.0)

2. John Klim and Rodney Jefferson (10)

3. Henry Oakey and Michael Leahy (11.2)

4. Neil Thomson and Tom Stevenson (4.6)

5. Scott Winn and Kevin Adatto (10.0)

6. Michael Palmore and Charles Bayler (7.5)

7. Jamie Rankin and Cole Clarkson (4.8)

8. Clark Coulbourn and Eric Strong (14.6)

9. Muscie Garnett and Isaac Morton (6.5)

10. Wes Battle & Brian Lucas (8.0)

11. Clay Thomson and Ben Dupuy (12.0)

100th U.S. Open in 2000 at Pebble Beach: 15 Years Later


Pebble 2000


15 years later, check out this gem from the 100th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach at Wit’s End where Tiger Woods won by 15 strokes. Neil is wearing his classic “Legalize Maruyama” t-shirt, which was mysteriously shipped to Danny G a few years back???

Nine Future PDL Players Muscie Garnett, Neil Thomson, Wes Battle, Chris Harrick, Brian Lucas, Johnny Mac, Kirk Bedell, Tommy Keratzes and LT Thompson appear. Can you spot the PGA Tour player in the photo?

Top Row: Dan O’keefe, Michael Rogers, Muscie Garnett, Shane Miller, Ed Amorosi, Wes Battle, Neil Thomson, Chris Harrick, Max Ricci, Brad Faxon, Ted Roosevelt, Kris Photopoulos, and Brian Lucas.

Middle Row: Bill Pietragallo, John McAllister, Kirk Bedell, Toby Price, Temp Keller and John Hansel.

2nd Row: Jay Moody, Katherine Craig, Ben Heyworth, Blair Farinholt, LT Thompson, Lela Sparks, Ellie reese and Jackie Magher.

Bottom Row: Suzanne Flynn, Tom Lawhorne, Dan Gilbane, Bobby Proutt, Tommy Keratzes, Hunter Stokes, Molly Radcliffe and Molly Campbell.


9th-11th Teams Announced for Ponce XIII


MortonIsaac Morton is honored to play in the Ponce De Leon with Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett XXVII of Loretto, VA, with whom he has a strained relationship.  His only regret coming into the tournament is that his brother-in-law and 2015 Ponce Chair, Clay Thomson (no “p”), didn’t think enough of his game to invite him.  If he and his partner, Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett XXVII of Loretto, VA with whom he has a strained relationship, win, he will shave his ugly Galifianakas-like beard before the closing ceremony.  Isaac went to high school at the Woodberry Forest School and college at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He lives in Charleston, SC where he is starting a company that manufactures premium cast iron cookware.  He has a wife and three daughters who tolerate his love of golf and who he loves in return.  He plays at the Yeamans Hall Club, where he is known to overthink his golf swing.

Current handicap index:  6.5



LUCASBrian is the 9th UVA ZY and 8th Richmonder to enter the 13th edition of the PDL. A member of the Country Club of Virginia, he lives in Richmond with his wife and three children.

Brian is a Managing Director in Harris Williams & Co.’s Energy & Power Group, where has worked since 2002.  He has an M.B.A. from Penn’s Wharton School in addition to a B.S. in Finance from UVA’s Comm School.

Brian grew up in Charlotte, where he learned to play at Charlotte Country Club and the Roaring Gap Club, where he still belongs.

Brian and Wes last teamed up in a pre-tournament outing at the 100th U.S. Open in Pebble Beach in 2000. In the early morning hours before the 3rd round on Saturday, Brian and Wes got in way over their head in an epic game of ‘Posionberry’, an incremental poker game. Neither has really ever gotten over it, until now.

When asked of his greatest golf memory, Brian said, “I had the opportunity to play Cypress Point where I took dead aim at the famed 16th; stared down the 220 yard carry and proceeded to bounce one off the top of the sea wall to 12 feet and rolled in the birdie putt.  Don’t ask what I did on 17 and 18.  Golf gods have a way of getting even.”

Current Handicap Index: 8.0



DupuyDupuy, Ben, 42, Tax Credit Financier and Developer in New Orleans, LA.  Playing out of the New Orleans Country Club.  2015 will be his inaugural PDL.  Former Treasurer of the First Tee of Washington, DC.  Former Board Member of “Politics & Pros” charity golf tournament in Washington, DC benefitting Open Fairways.  Founder of the Capital Club of Washington, DC’s Invitational Golf Tournament in 1999.  Multiple-year inductee into the Golf Digest “Washington, DC’s Top 200 Golfers in Politics.”  Clay Thomson’s partner in the inaugural “The Dozen” Invitational Golf Tournament.

Native New Orleanian who did a 15-year tour of duty in Washington, DC.  Still upset that Utah stole his NBA team in 1979.  President of St. Charles Avenue Advisors, LLC, which helps developers nationwide access financing for historic rehabilitation projects through federal and state incentives.  1995 graduate of the University of Virginia (DKE).  Veteran of presidential and US Senate campaigns, service on Capitol Hill, and governmental relations at the federal and state levels.  He is a leading national advocate for historic rehabilitation investment incentives.  Led the successful efforts to create the Texas Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and extend the Louisiana Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.

Husband of the former Ginny Sweet Simmons (U.Va. ’99) and father of daughters Florence (U.Va. ’30) and Simmons (U.Va. ’32).

Fan of persimmon woods, balata golf balls, and Seve Ballesteros’ fighting spirit.

Aspires to be sponsored by Criquet Shirts™ (http://blog.criquetshirts.com/), Tabasco® (http://tabasco.com), and George Lee’s Southside Mix™ (http://tinyurl.com/qgy8o7s).

Discovered the USS Ponce (an Austin-class amphibious transport dock of the United States Navy) and made its advanced Laser Weapon System capabilities known to PDL’s Chairman Emeritus and 2015 Tournament Chairman.

USS Ponce

Fierce promoter of his hometown and Chairman of the “Committee to Bring PDL to New Orleans.”

Current Hadicap Index: 12.0





Teams Previously Announced

1. Jeremy Bird and Kav Tucker (2.0)

2. John Klim and Rodney Jefferson (10)

3. Henry Oakey and Michael Leahy (11.2)

4. Neil Thomson and Tom Stevenson (4.6)

5. Scott Winn and Kevin Adatto (10.0)

6. Michael Palmore and Charles Bayler (7.5)

7. Jamie Rankin and Cole Clarkson (4.8)

8. Clark Coulbourn and Eric Strong (14.6)


Wes Wins Masters Pool: The Players Starts Thursday, May 7th


Wes Blistered the field, beating his next closest competitor by 27 shots at the Masters. His team of Jordan Spieth (-18), Patrick Reed (-2) , Phil Mickelson (-14) , Louis Oosthuizen (-4) , Paul Casey (-9)  and Jonas Blixt (-1) was dominant.

The Players will be the next tournament in the Pool and picks will be due before the start of golf on Thursday, May 7th.  Enter your picks at www.runyourpool.com


Masters Standings

1. Wes Battle -48

2. Isaac Morton -21

3. Eric Strong -11

4. Muscie Garnett -9

5. Neil Thomson -6

6. Clark Coulborn -3

7. Scott Winn -1

8. Brian Lucas +10

9. Jeremy Bird +14

10. Clay Thomson +23

Ponce Member Guest Teams 6-8 Announced

Team 6:  Michael Palmore and Charles Bayler


Charles grew up in Richmond and attended St. Christopher’s School.  He turned down a partial scholarship to Brown to pursue other interests at The College of Charleston.  The first of many wise decisions.  Charles, a career salesman, works for GE Healthcare.  He lives in Richmond with his wife, Ali, and two boys (Jack – 5 and Sam – 3).  Ali is more intelligent than Charles.

As an interesting side note, Charles and Henry Oakey are cousins.  I am hoping that while at The Greenbrier the caddy will not ask Charles to “please lay up” on a 150 yard carry shot to the green as the caddy suggested to Henry at a previous Ponce.

As a golf team, Charles and Michael have played together for many years.  A Championship title at Wolfest at The Country Club of Virginia headlines many of their golf accomplishments.

Current handicap index:  7.5


Team 7: Jamie Rankin and Cole Clarkson


From Jamie . . .It is with great pleasure that I re-introduce Cole Clarkson to the group. Cole (St. Christopher’s ’95, UVA ’99) hails from Richmond, VA, is married to Macon Hubard (St. Catherine’s ’96, UVA ’00) and has two beautiful daughters (Libby and Conway).  With two short stints down south after college (Atlanta-Braves, Austin-Trammell Crow) Cole decided to move back to the Richmond to open his own real estate shop-7 Hills Advisors Group (which he still controls and operates today).  If Cole’s not working or with family, he can probably be found in a duck blind, on a flats boat, or on the golf course. As many of you know, this isn’t Cole’s first Ponce. As a member of the winning team (Virginia Gentlemen) in Sea Island, GA in 2008,  Cole was instrumental  in getting the win and even getting the much deserved MVP honors for the tournament that year. In addition to having success at the Ponce and being a great friend,  I also chose Cole because he still uses a belly putter, has facial hair and has a renewed love of the game after having  to “walk away “  a few years ago to address an injured elbow. After almost two years of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (basically blood injection therapy) in the elbow, Cole’s back and feeling better than ever.  Having never missed a Ponce, I can assure you these factors will be a HUGE advantage for him (us) at the Greenbrier this summer on the tee box and on the green. I trust the Thomson boys won’t implement a clean shaven rule or BP ban (’16 PGA) for this year’s Ponce.

Current handicap index: 4.8


Team 8: Clark Coulbourn and Eric Strong

Eric Strong

From Clark . . .It’s with the greatest pleasure that I present to you Eric Thomas Strong as my guest at this year’s PDL Invitational. Eric is a native of Richmond, VA, attended The Bromsgrove School in England, Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond, VA then Hampden-Sydney College with a BA in Economics.  He currently is the Lead Advisor at Brighton Jones Wealth Management in San Francisco.  He and his wife Suzanne live in Mill Valley, CA and have 3 children Izzy (1 month), Thomas (5), and Audrey (7).

He is a member of Richmond Country Club in CA and Scott Valley Swim and Tennis Club in Mill Valley, CA.

Eric is an avid golfer and very focused on dialing up his golf game as he prepares for our 2015 PDL Invitational.

Eric knows all the HSC alumni of the Ponce, in addition to Scott Winn, Muscoe Garnett, and Richard Massie. He will integrate into our mission very well.

Current handicap index:  14.6


Teams Previously Announced

1. Jeremy Bird and Kav Tucker (2.0)

2. John Klim and Rodney Jefferson (10)

3. Henry Oakey and Michael Leahy (11.2)

4. Neil Thomson and Tom Stevenson (4.6)

5. Scott Winn and Kevin Adatto (10.0)


Three More Teams Announced for 2015 Ponce!

3. Michael Leahy – Guest of Henry Oakey


It is with great pleasure that I introduce Michael Leahy as my guest to the 2015 PDL. Michael works for North Coast Research and recently moved to Boston from Richmond Virginia. Michael is married to Maggie Beights, formerly of Charlottesville (STAB ’94) and the University of Richmond. They have 2 children, son Will (who tragically has developed an affinity for Syracuse), daughter Annie (a Wahoo through and through), and recently found out that they are expecting a third. (Apparently he has found a way to pass the time during a cold, snowy Massachusetts winter.) Michael hails from West Genessee NY, and was a teammate and national champion at the University of Virginia, where his Dirk Diggler kick celebration became legendary. He has not indicated whether he plans to play the PDL with knee high socks, but it is certainly a possibility. Michael was also a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity house, where his night time performance matched his stellar play on the field. The chief influence on his golf game was the esteemed teacher Chubbs Peterson — “Just easing the tension baby!” Michael is a southpaw with a knack for draining big putts in the clutch, and is known far and wide as a gamer.  – HFO

Current handicap index:  11.2


4. Tom Stevenson – Guest of Neil Thomson

Tom Stevenson

Tom is 35 years old and hails from Charleston, South Carolina.  He loves full moons, hot sauce, and fried chicken, and he is the father of “two studs”: Henry (5) and George (2).  Tom was educated at the College of Charleston and UNC Chapel Hill . He is a partner at Ranch Creek Partners (RCP), a telecommunications focused private investment firm.  Tom didn’t pick up golf in earnest until after college (a late bloomer one could say).  That said, he is now intensely passionate about all aspects of the game.  Tom’s home shingle hangs at the Country Club of Charleston, although he is known to loiter at several other goat tracks.  In terms of golf stories . . . “Have you ever gotten annoyed with cable companies, generally?  More specifically when they give you a five hour window for service?  Well, that dynamic gave birth to a personal favorite golf experience.  I’m in Florida at a hallowed club playing against the most senior executive at the country’s largest cable operator.  He’s kicking my ass and getting a bit smug about things.  He’s well-positioned off the tee and I’m naturally deep in dog mess off the left.  The needling from the short grass begins and I’m burning under the collar.  I pipe off and challenge the gentlemen (always talk shit to power!) to a one shot bet (terms undisclosed). He steps up and presents a beautiful, yet conservative play 25 feet pin high.  Reminder: I can barely see my ball in the junk and have an uphill play into a late afternoon south Florida wind.  Well, I close my eyes and let it rip (think a bashful Sergio at Medinah).  I nestle the nugget up there about 18 inches and show no emotion.  Just turn to the titan and offer, “what the fuck is up with your customer service?!” – NDT

Current handicap index: 4.6
5.  Kevin Adatto – Guest of Scott Winn

Kevin Adatto

A native of Portland, Kevin attended the University of Oregon and works in investment sales commercial real estate.  Kevin and his wife Virginia (great Ponce name) have an 8 year old daughter Harper and a 6 year old son Sam.  Kevin plays out of Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland.

Current handicap index:  10.0


Teams Previously Announced

1. Jeremy Bird and Kav Tucker (2.0)

2. John Klim and Rodney Jefferson (10)

First Two Teams Revealed for 2015 Ponce

From the Desk of the 2015 Chairman, Clay Thomson:

This represents the first of several revelations associated with the 2015 Ponce Member-Guest.  These posts will reveal team and format details, the announcement of tournament matches, and other items of note.

With this first revelation, I would like to announce our first two Ponce 2015 Guests:  Kav Tucker (Guest of Jeremy Bird) and Rodney Jefferson (Guest of John Klim).  We welcome them to this tournament that we hold so dear, and we look forward to competing with them and getting to know them.  Several other Guests have been selected, and their identities will be revealed over the course of the coming weeks.



Kav Tucker -- guest of Jeremy Bird

Jeremy Bird’s guest for the 2015 Ponce Member-Guest is J. Kavanaugh Tucker. Kav’s hometown is Marietta, GA, and he currently resides in Santa Rosa Beach, FL and Atlanta, GA. He works as a Principal of SouthCap Brokerage Group and Walton Funding. Kav graduated from Georgia Tech, where he played on the golf team for two years. Kav plays out of Capital City Club in Atlanta and has a current handicap index of 2.0. Kav is married and has a 3 year old son.




Rodney Jefferson -- guest of John Klim
John Klim’s guest for the inaugural Ponce Member-Guest is Rodney Jefferson. Rodney grew up in Roanoke (our first player to hail from the Star City), attended Cave Spring High School where he regularly hung out with Tiki and Ronde Barber before matriculating to Randolph-Macon College. At R-MC, Rodney was the President of SAE, enjoyed “hogging”, and graduated with no academic acclaim. Post-graduation, Rodney worked for his family’s printing business for several years before he moved onto Chapel Hill, NC where he attended and graduated from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Post business school, Rodney moved to Richmond and launched several successful entrepreneurial ventures, including a receivables management business (i.e. debt collection) and his most recent venture, Little Scholars, a provider of educational summer camps, after-school enrichment programs, and in-school and in-home tutoring. In his free time, Rodney enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, Stephanie (he way outkicked his coverage), his two boys (Taylor, 12 and Wade, 11) and his awesome daughter Ann Perry, 8. A side note: Rodney’s
boys are both very good athletes and they consistently give Rodney and John beat downs across a wide variety of athletic endeavors. In addition to spending time with his family,
Rodney is a big fan of leisure activities, which include but are not limited to playing cards, drinking bourbon, smoking cigars, and playing golf where he carries a 10 handicap. To
ensure that he continues to maintain his massive cash burn, Rodney has dedicated his recent years to collecting club memberships, which include The Country Club of Virginia,
Secession Golf Club, and The Homestead Golf and Tennis Club. Rodney’s golf game could be best described as “streaky,” which is usually directly inversely related to his prior night’s
activities – his one and only ace came on January 20, 2014 at the Kanawha Club just outside of Richmond. Rodney will be a great addition to the Ponce given his love of golf, focus on
competitive but fair play, and his ability to compete at the highest level at all “off the course” Ponce-related activities.


Johnny Miller Evokes Ponce de Leon!


August 27, 2014

“He needs to quit being Ponce de Leon looking for that fountain of youth.”

-Johnny Miller on Tiger Woods

For Johny’s full analysis, click the Golf Digest story below:



George Peper: The Thrill of the Chase

From the Desk of the Chairman, Neil Thomson

You may recall one of the principal inspirations for Ponce X in St. Andrews was George Peper’s book, “Two Years in Saint Andrews: At Home on the 18th Hole.” Available here.

He takes a pretty bold line on Tiger at end of his newest piece in Links magazine. As always, Peper is spot on!  Always about the journey, not the destination.  Tiger, at 38, with 14 majors is neck and neck with Jack’s pace – that alone sets the stage.  The fact that he continues to win 4 or 5 times per year (a career for most), yet his 15th major eludes him – only adds to the palpable drama heading into 2014 and beyond.  The world knows his talent and form are there – and that he is capable, but I get the sense that his pro peers have narrowed that once wide gap.  Tiger’s invincibility has been chipped away – perhaps in part by his own fall from grace, but also by the rise of his rivals’ own games.  I sense he will hoist more majors for sure – 4 or 5 more?, hard to say – but his desire and commitment seem as strong as ever.  He has had time and dug in the dirt enough to have grooved his new Foley-swing and regained his physical health.  On the metaphysical side, he is more human now than ever – and perhaps more likable than pre-fire hydrant…Which brings us to this – which is better: to be likable and human, or revered and untouchable?  Tiger straddles the middle of those perceptions, all the while stuck on 14.  Onward to Augusta!




George Peper: The Thrill of the Chase

I’d love to see Tiger Woods win at Augusta before going through another major drought so his pursuit of Jack’s record is drawn out as long as possible

By: George Peper


A couple of additional links:

1) More Links Magazines articles written by George Peper

2) Tommy’s Honor – new major motion picture based on the story of golf’s founding father and son- Old and Young Tom Morris.