15-Year-Old Sensation Shoots Three-Under-Par 68 On Korn Ferry Tour Debut

Miles Russell made an impressive start at the LECOM Suncoast Classic in what is his first start in a Tour-sanctioned event

Miles Russell hits from the 16th tee during the first round of the LECOM Suncoast Classic at Lakewood National Golf Club Commander on April 18, 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

15-year-old Miles Russell became the latest junior golfer to make waves on the professional circuit after the teenager shot an opening-round 68 in his maiden start on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Russell, the world’s top-ranked junior golfer, has already racked up a slew of titles in his burgeoning amateur career, including breaking Tiger Woods' record for the youngest winner of the AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year award.

An impressive 2023 also saw the American win the Junior PGA Championship, shoot a second-round 66 at TPC Sawgrass en route to winning the Junior Players Championship and appear at the Junior Ryder Cup in September.

Russell was denied a spot at last month's Puerto Rico Open after falling in a playoff at Monday qualifying but his continued impressive performances have now earned him a sponsor's invite into this week's LECOM Suncoast Classic.

Making his first appearance in a Tour-sanctioned event, the teenager showed no signs of nerves on Thursday as he opened with a three-under-par 68 at Lakewood National Golf Club.

Starting on the back nine, Russell made an electric start with three birdies in his first four holes as he fired a bogey-free first-nine 31. Bogeys at the second and fifth - sandwiched between a birdie on the fourth - saw him settled for an opening-round 68 but gives the teenager a great chance of making the cut on Friday.

Miles Russell of team USA tees off on the 1st hole during the Day Three of the 2023 Junior Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Russell, who picked up the game when he was just two years old, has already caught the eye of big sponsors and signed an NIL deal with Transcend Capital Advisors last fall. 

Speaking earlier in the week, the high school freshman said was excited by the prospect of his Tour debut and had ambitions to make it into the weekend's action.

"Hopefully, I play well, and I can see how my game stacks up against the best," he said. "I don’t know what to expect, but I’d love to make the cut and who knows, maybe have a good weekend and see where it puts me."

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.