Local teen shoots even par in PGA Tour debut


Fifteen-year-old Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach has made his name known in recent years in the junior golf world, and now his name has also graced the leaderboard at a PGA Tour event.

The top-ranked player in the American Junior Golf Association, has already found victory several times in his young career, including the Boy’s Junior PGA Championship and The Junior PLAYERS Championship last year.

Nearly one year later, from those monumental victories, Russell took the next step in his career, and a giant one it was, as he qualified for the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club last weekend.

Although he did not make the cut, he made an impression by shooting even-par over his two rounds.

After starting off with a bogey, he settled in and reeled off 10 straight pars before his first birdie at a PGA Tour event on No. 3, his 12th hole played on the day as he began on the back nine.

His first real adversity came on No. 6 in the first round as he double bogyed, only to follow it up with another birdie.

He showed great maturity for a 15-year-old by bouncing back from a two-over performance on the first day to shoot two-under in the second round, thanks to a fast start that led to a bogey-free three-under front nine highlighted by birdies on holes one, four and seven.

It was a much smoother start to a round than the day before, as he opened with a birdie compared to a bogey.

Golf is a game that tests the patience and mental fortitude of even the best players, so Russell’s approach and his ability to fight through adversity is something very special.

A birdie on the par-3 No. 11 allowed him to reach his lowest score of the tournament at four-under par.

However, a pair of bogeys down the stretch knocked him down to two-under for the day and even par for the event.

It was a tournament Russell is likely not to forget anytime soon and based on his performance it will likely not be his last.

At 15 years old, Russell is still just beginning his golf and even life journey, as many other memorable experiences will be coming soon for him, including learning to drive and the next several years in high school.

One thing for sure is, that no matter what Russell decides to do moving forward, he proved that he could hold his own on the same course and against some of the best golfers in the world for two rounds.

That spells a bright future no matter what route he takes.