There is local knowledge, then there is the advantage that Mike McCoy had at the 2008 Trans-Mississippi Championship, held at The Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa.
Although the West Des Moines resident had to get past another pair of local golfers (tough matches with JD Anderson and Gene Elliott) en route to his 5 & 4 victory over Byron Shumate, he admitted his advantage of playing at his home club was a big help.
"I'm a local guy, a member of the club, I play here a few times a week so there was definitely some local knowledge," said McCoy, who also won the Trans-Miss in 2000 at the White Bear Yacht Club in Minnesota. "I also started caddying at the club when I was 10 or 11 years old."
At 45, McCoy said he had no real trouble keeping up with the younger mid-ams in the tourney, who may have had an advantage off the tee, but not in most other areas.
"I actually drove the ball well, I still hit it pretty solid, no question," said McCoy. "I feel competitive in all areas of the game, and I was getting good starts to each match, getting good vibes going early."
McCoy has had no real trouble keeping up with the younger set, even when paired with future PGA Tour players that he sees in his summer outings to such majors as the Northeast Amateur, Terra Cotta Invitational and Porter Cup. In the past three years he has taken top-10 finishes in all three of those events, and top-20 finishes in several more majors.
However, the one event he has dominated in recent years is the Crump Cup, held every September at the exclusive Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey. He has won that event in three of the past four years.
"I don't know if it's horses for courses or courses for horses, but I've always done well there," said McCoy, who plays in 10-12 tournaments per year. "The Crump is a great way to end the summer"
Most recently, McCoy made it to the semifinals of the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur at the Milwaukee Country Club, rolling through four matches before losing to eventual champ Steve Wilson 3 & 1.