Update 7/2/09: With his performance in the St. Andrews Links Trophy, Sunnehanna Amateur, and Northeast Amateur, Mike McCoy currently is now #13 in the World, and #5 in the US in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Player Rankings. He is on the short list of Walker Cup contenders with two months to go.
Update 5/26/09: After a T14 finish at the Terra Cotta Invitational and a 3rd place finish at the Lupton Invitational, Mike McCoy currently sits at #15 in the World, and #5 in the US in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Player Rankings.
You would be hard pressed to find a more consistent performer in major amateur tournaments than Mike McCoy. The West Des Moines, Iowa commercial insurance broker has qualified for, and excelled in USGA events – last year he made the final 32 of the US Amateur and was a semifinalist in the US Mid-Am – and he has also notched more than his share of high finishes in the biggest events on the schedule.
For the second time, McCoy won the prestigious Trans-Miss Amateur last year at his home Wakonda Club (he was Tournament Chairman to boot). At age 46, McCoy currently sits at No. 5 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Player Rankings (12 month trailing) and for 2009 alone he sits on the top of the U.S. list thanks to a 3rd place finish at the Azalea Amateur, a 6th at the Jones Cup, and a runner-up at the Coleman Invitational at Florida's famous Seminole Golf Club. (And get this; he lost by a shot to his buddy Gene Elliott of West Des Moines, a top 100 ranked amateur in his own right.)
With the Walker Cup coming up in September in Merion, McCoy is one player coach Buddy Marucci can count on not to turn pro, as several collegiate stars have announced plans to do after graduating.
“It has been a goal for many years,” said McCoy, in describing his desire to represent the USA. “I got familiar with Merion at the 2005 US Amateur; it's a course where I feel like a mid-amateur can be competitive and make a contribution to the team."
Certainly, you can’t play at McCoy’s level without all of the shots, and a swing and short game that hold up under pressure.
"Mike is working on his game all the time, even during the winter hitting balls and filming his swing in indoor golf dome," said Elliott, when asked to describe his West Des Moines neighbor. "He's one of the best putters I've ever known, and in the last three to five years he has become a very consistent ball striker."
It should come as no surprise that McCoy says one of his secret weapons is old fashioned determination.
“I try to be prepared when I come to every tournament, and keep in shape beforehand.”
A graduate of Wichita State, where he played on the golf team, McCoy has two sons and two daughters. His son Nathan plays for the Iowa State golf team. McCoy says his wife Beth "keeps things steady on the homefront" and he called his family “very supportive” of his competitive schedule.
As for his friend and West Des Moines neighbor Gene Elliott, whom he went down the stretch with at Seminole in the 2009 Coleman Invitational?
“We’ve traveled to Scotland to play in the British Amateur, and played lots of golf together, but those final two holes at the Coleman we didn't talk too much,” said McCoy. “It got really windy.”
“I was fortunate to save bogey after hitting from bunker to bunker on seventeen, and his par there put him ahead for good – not the finish we were looking for but we both played well up to that point.”
McCoy’s next event is the Lupton Invitational in Tennessee. As a longtime member and supporter of amateurgolf.com, and a great guy in general, we wish him the best with his quest to make the Walker Cup team.