The first two days of the event are 18 holes of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday then the field is cut down to the top 64 players who advance to the match play portion of the tournament. The duo who reach the final then play 36-holes to determine the champion.
The field is open to all amateur golfers who have a USGA Handicap of 8.4 or lower and who normally play public courses. Also, they aren't able to have privileges at any course that does not extend playing privileges to the general public, or privileges of any private club maintaining its own course. A player may hold incidental privileges of a course not open to the public when an educational institution at which he is a student provides such privileges, or a federal armed service of which he is member, or an industry by which he is employed.
One big name noticeably not in the field is 14-year-old Michelle Wie, who was trying to use this event in hopes of qualifying for the 2005 Masters Tournament. Wie finished two strokes behind winners David Bradshaw and Alex Knoll in local qualifying last month in Pennsylvania and now will have to wait until next year to try to get into the field.
Besides receiving a gold medal and ownership of the James D. Standish Jr. Cup for a year, the champion of this event has historically received an invitation to compete in the following year's Masters. He also receives an exemption from local qualifying at the next three U.S. Open Championships, though both rewards hinge on the fact that they keep their amateur status.
Last year Brandt Snedeker blew away Dayton Rose 10-and-9 in the 36-hole final, tying the second largest margin of victory in the 78 years of the championship's history. Jim Sorenson, the 1985 champion, won 12-and-11 for the largest margin of victory.