15-Year-Old Miles Russell Makes PGA Tour Debut

Miles Russell is living out a dream, and golf fans worldwide have a front row seat.

Russell, 15, is now among the youngest golfers in history to compete in a PGA Tour sanctioned event after earning a sponsor’s exemption to play in the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Country Club this weekend.

Miles Russell
Photo Credit: CNN

“It’s pretty perfect,” Russell said of his PGA Tour debut. “I mean, the only PGA Tour event I’ve been to is The Players and I think that’s probably one of the best ones, so it was right up there with it. It was awesome. I mean, the fans here, especially in Detroit, have been great. I’m looking forward to coming back in a month or so. It was just a cool moment.”

Russell is set to return to Detroit next month when he tees it up at Oakland Hills Country Club in the 2024 U.S. Junior Amateur.

The Jacksonville Beach, FL native, who begins his sophomore year in high school this fall, was the talk of the tournament this week. Crowds of fans and PGA Tour media members followed every shot on every hole. He held a press conference before his round on Thursday and then again after his second round. He signed autographs for kids and adults.

Still, the teen appeared unfazed by the spectacle and displayed the poise of seasoned pro, opening with a 2-over par 74 on Thursday, and then posting an impressive 2-under 70 on Friday. 

“Got off to a nice start and just wasn’t quite able to keep it going, but just needed a couple more putts to drop,” Russell said of his 2nd round performance. 

Touring pros were impressed by the youngster’s professional demeanor.

“As a 15-year-old, I’m sure I’d be pretty nervous out here, so we tried to make it easy on him, and make him feel comfortable, but, really, I don’t even know how much he needed that,” said Russell’s 28-year old playing partner, Rico Hoey. “He was cool. His short game is really good. He has a lot of length for his size. His game is just really good and he’s really calm.”

After missing a 3-footer on the final hole of his opening round Thursday and closing with a bogey, the 5’7”/120-pound lefty responded to a reporter’s question with “We live, we learn, we move on,” he said.

While Russell’s total score of 144 came up short of the cutline, there were plenty of highlights and lifelong memories for the teen.

“I tried to stay focused on the golf, but on 18, I walked up a little slower and just tried to enjoy it,” Russell said in his post-round interview

Photo Credit: Instagram milesrussellgolf

In April, Russell made his professional tour debut when he was granted an exemption into the LECOM Suncoast Classic, a Korn Ferry Tour event played in Lakewood Ranch, FL. The amateur didn’t just make the cut in his first-ever pro tournament, but he posted impressive 4-day scores of 68-66-70-66, good enough for T20.

Russell, the #1 ranked junior in the world, and the world’s 69th ranked amateur, last competed in a Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event in 2018, when he finished 2nd at the HJGT Boys U10 National Championship in Orlando. 

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