15-year-old Miles Russell makes history with T20 finish at Korn Ferry Tour event, earns another start

At 15 years old, Miles Russell is wrapping up his freshman year of high school this spring.

But on Sunday, after a historic weekend at Lakewood National Golf Club, Russell earned another start on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Russell posted a 5-under 66 on Sunday, and made an incredible seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch, to close out the LECOM Suncoast Classic. That brought him to 14-under on the week and gave him a T20 finish at the event, which made him the youngest player since they started keeping records in 1983 to complete a top-25 finish on either the PGA Tour or Korn Ferry Tour.

on record to ever complete a top–25 finish on either the PGA Tour or Korn Ferry Tour.

"It was an awesome week. It was a blast," Russell said, via the PGA Tour. "Especially for my first one, you may get a couple weird looks, like, 'Who's the little kid on the range?' But, you know, everybody was so nice and so helpful with everything.

"I just try to kind of go with flow and take it as it comes to me, and I'm trying to just stay cool. I was able to hit some good shots in the right moments."

Russell, who is the reigning American Junior Golf Association’s Player of the Year, was competing this week on a sponsor’s exemption. He won the Junior PGA Championship by seven shots last year, and he became the youngest person to ever win the Junior Players Championship. The only other male player to win the AJGA’s Player of the Year award at 15 years old was Tiger Woods.

Russell posted a 66 on Friday, too, which made him the youngest player to ever make the cut at 15 years, 5 months and 17 days. Gripper Finau, who is the younger brother of PGA Tour golfer Tony Finau, held the previous Korn Ferry Tour mark at 16 years old. China’s Guan Tianlang made the cut at the Masters in 2013 when he was 14. That’s still the record for a PGA Tour event.

"When I play well, I think I can compete with some of the better pros, but this week I played well and I think it kind of showed it a little bit," Russell said. "But good play is always good, and definitely confidence-boosting to finish where we're going to finish today."

While Russell is still competing as an amateur, and he won’t get any money or Korn Ferry Tour points for his finish on Sunday, his finish did earn him a spot in next week’s Veritex Bank Championship in Texas. He's not old enough to join the Korn Ferry Tour full time yet, but he can keep earning entries week-by-week — as anyone who finishes in the top-25 automatically earns entry into the following week's event.

Tim Widing beat Steven Fisk and Patrick Cover in a playoff on Sunday afternoon to win the LECOM Suncoast Classic. The trio got to 20-under on the week, six shots better than Russell.