2009 – Palm Springs – Team Sam Snead Dominates Team Dai Rees


PDL LogoTournament Summary

Sam Snead Team Trounces Team Dai Rees 26-13 In 7th PDL At PGA West!
Bird, Roberts, Hollowell, Thomson, Aide, Palmore, Battle and Wainscott Champions

Bill Wainscott – MVP
Wes Battle – Captain
Scott Winn – Spirit Award Winner

January 15-18 2009
La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, CA (PGA West Greg Norman Course, Desert Mountain Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Stadium Course)
Chairman: Jeremy Bird
Chairman Bird modeled PDL VII after 1959 Ryder Cup at Eldorado Golf Club

This year we paid homage to the 50th Anniversary of the 1959 Ryder Cup, held at nearby Eldorado Country Club in Indian Wells, California. The United States beat Great Britain that year 8½ to 3½. The American Captain was Sam Snead and the British Captain was Dai Rees. The Americans visited El Dorado for  a cocktail reception and took pictures with the 1959 Ryder Cup.


Click here to view and download all the photos from Ponce VII

Chairman Bird awards the MVP to Bill Wainscott.

The scoreboard shows the damage.

John Allen Roberts, MVP Bill Wainscott and Chairman Bird with the crew at Sunset at the Ponce

The boys at Sunset

Richard and Henry

PGA West pool early morn

Henry Massie, Muscoe Garnett, Jamie Rankin, Courtland Weisleder and John McAllister

Bird photo bombs Chairman Thomson and Team Sam Snead Captain Battle

Bird, Wainscott and N. Thomson avoiding the snake at PGA West.

The Fountain of Youth Cup meet the 1959 Ryder Cup

The Ponce teams visit Eldorado Country Club and hoist the 1959 Ryder Cup

Chairman Thomson setting up a crisp iron.

Team Dai Rees

Team Sam Snead


The September 11th Foundation in honor of “Deeg” Sezna


A follow up to my comments from Sunday night.  This year for our annual charity/philanthropic pursuit, we are paying tribute to the life of Davis G. “Deeg” Sezna, Jr…  Deeg (pronounced “Deeg”) was the eldest son of our new Friend of the Ponce, Davis Sezna — the President of La Quinta Resort & Club.  Deeg was a 23 year-old recent Vanderbilt graduate whose life was cut tragically short during the 9/11 attacks.  He worked for Sandler O’Neill on the 104th Floor of the South Tower.  Deeg was a Cum Laude graduate of the Sanford School in Wilmington, Delaware (playing varsity golf there all 4 years), before heading to Vandy where he was was Treasurer of Pi Kappa Alpha.  He graduated in 2001 with a BA in Economics and headed to NYC where the world was waiting for his leadership.  His career goal was to succeed his father one day as a leader in hospitality business, but first wanted to cut his teeth in the city.  Deeg was an accomplished golfer.  He once remarked that he wanted to win the Delaware State Am, as his father and grandfather did.  Just a week prior to his death, Deeg played a round over at New Jersey National Golf Club.

Even though none of us had met Deeg, we all knew him.  Why? — Because we are all sons, and many of you are fathers — so it is only appropriate that we pay tribute to his life, and we will try to carry on his golfing and leadership legacy.  Simply put, he was a brother-in-arms to the Ponce.  Please read a nice article written by another Friend of the Ponce, Matt Ginella (as we know, Matt was instrumental in putting us in touch with Mr. Sezna and La Quinta for our 7th Annual tournament).  I am making Matt aware of our gift as well.

Matt’s article sheds some light on the strength of the Sezna family: Click Here to Read.  As I mentioned at Palmer’s, we can all learn from the courage and character exhibited by Mr. Sezna in the wake of the death of 2 of his 3 sons: (son Teddy Sezna was killed in a boating accident on the Delaware River in July of 2000)  His optimism in the face of adversity and ability to console those around him with humor.

I will be sure to copy you all on a more formal letter to the Sezna family and to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, once we have raised the money and formally set up the fund.

The funds we accumulate will enable us to have a paver made as a memoriam to Deeg that will be located on the grounds of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza where the Towers once stood.  I hope to include some type of written tribute on the paver that reads something similar to: From 16 Gentlemen Golfers of the Ponce de Leon Invitational to 1 Gentleman Golfer, Davis G. “Deeg” Sezna, Jr. – For Love of the Game!

Our tribute will also be recognized in the Opening Day program, on the website, and in the World Trade Center Memorial kiosk.

As I mentioned above, I will be sure to include all of you in more formal correspondence once we set up the fund.

Thanks for “getting it” —

Neil Thomson

Chairman Emeritus