The championship is open to amateur golfers who will not have reached their 18th birthday on or before July 21, 2012, and who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 6.4. The Junior Amateur is among the most difficult of all USGA championships to win, because of the age limit and the number of fine young players who enter each year. Just two players have won the Junior Amateur more than once, Tiger Woods winning in 1991, 1992, and 1993 and Jordan Spieth, capturing the championship in 2009 and 2011.
FORMAT: Two days worth of 36-hole, qualifying stroke-play will be contested on Monday, July 16th and Tuesday, July 17th. The field will then be reduced to the lowest 64 players, who advance to match play.
The first round of matches will be held on Wednesday, July 18th, while the second and third-round matches will be contested on Thursday, July 19th. Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches will be held on Friday, July 20th with the championship match being contested on Saturday, July 21st. All matches will be 18 holes, except for the 36-hole final.
HISTORY: The U.S. Junior Amateur was first played in 1948. The first Junior Amateur was played at the University of Michigan Golf Course and drew 495 entries. The starting field of 128 players was determined by sectional qualifying rounds at 41 sites. Dean Lind of Rockford, Illinois was the first champion. Lind defeated Ken Venturi of San Francisco, a future U.S. Open champion, in the final.
By 1963, entries had surged to 2,230, a record for the 14th consecutive year. At the time, there was no handicap limitation for entrants. That changed in 1964 when a handicap limit of 10 strokes was introduced.
CHAMPION REWARDS: A gold medal and custody of the Junior Amateur Championship Trophy for the ensuing year. An exemption from local qualifying for the next three US Open Championships, if still an amateur. An exemption from sectional qualifying for the next two US Amateur Championships, if otherwise eligible. An exemption from sectional qualifying at the next two U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, if otherwise eligible. An exemption from sectional qualifying for future U.S. Junior Amateur Championships, if otherwise eligible.
TROPHY: The U.S. Junior Amateur Chamionship Trophy was presented in 1948 by the United States Golf Association. The handsome bowl is a reproduction in sterling of a bowl made in 1796 by Samuel Williamson, a well-known Philadelphia silversrmith. The original is owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.