”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … ” So wrote Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, the novel that captured the mood in Europe on the eve of the French Revolution in 1775. That memorable wording accurately describes the year 2013 for reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy. And in a twist Dickens would appreciate, the worst of times perhaps made the best of times possible. McCoy, 50, began the year with thoughts of pulling back from his national schedule and competing a bit more in his home state of Iowa. But as he contemplated his schedule, a thunderbolt came from Far Hills, N.J., in January: The USGA was going to pick two mid-amateurs to play for the U.S. Walker Cup team that would compete at the National Golf Links of America that September. McCoy’s pulse quickened a bit. He had spent a decade chasing a spot on the Walker Cup team, and now his chances had improved. It would be an uphill battle: Four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith, with two Walker Cup appearances under his belt, seemed a likely choice, and South Carolina’s Todd White had been invited to the Walker Cup practice session the previous December after a sensational 2012 campaign. By springtime, McCoy’s game started to shine. He won the club championship at Seminole Golf Club by a whopping 13 shots, and followed that up with an impressive seven-shot win at the Coleman Invitational, also played at Seminole.