The U.S. Women's Amateur is open to female amateurs who have USGA Handicap Indexes not exceeding 5.4. The deadline for entries was June 27. The USGA received a record 1,123 entries for the 2012 championship. The previous record of 1,049 entries was established in 2010.
FORMAT: Two days worth of 36-hole, qualifying stroke-play will be contested on Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th. The field of 156 players will then be reduced to the lowest 64 players, who advance to match play.
The first round of matches will be held on Wednesday, August 8th, while the second and third-round matches will be contested on Thursday, August 9th. On Friday, August 10th the quarterfinal matches will take place while the semifinal matches will be held on Saturday, August 11th. All of the above will be of 18 holes. On Sunday, August 12th the championship match will held over 36 holes.
CHAMPION REWARDS: The champion receives a gold medal and custody of the Robert Cox Cup for the ensuing year. The runner-up receives a silver medal; the other semifinalists receive bronze medals. The champion receives an exemption from sectional qualifying for U.S. Women's Amateur Championships for the next ten years; an exemption from sectional qualifying for 10 years to the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, if otherwise eligible; an exemption from sectional qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, if otherwise eligible; an exemption from sectional qualifying for the next two U.S. Women's Open Championships, if still an amateur; an exemption from sectional qualifying for future USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championships, if otherwise eligible.
TROPHY: The Cox Cup was presented in 1896 by Robert Cox, of Gorgie, Edinburgh, Scotland, a member of Britain's Parliament. The Cox Cup is the oldest survivor among trophies for USGA championships. The original is kept at the USGA Museum and Library with a copy handed yearly to the winner. It is a two-foot high silver case of Etruscan design and the only USGA trophy donated by a person from another country.