Russell, 15, makes history with T25 on Korn Ferry

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Two days after he became the youngest player ever to make the cut on the Korn Ferry Tour, Miles Russell notched another pretty cool achievement for a 15-year-old.

He finished tied for 20th in the event.

Russell, the reigning American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year, closed with a 5-under 66 on Sunday at the Lecom Suncoast Classic in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, finishing 6 shots behind winner Tim Widing. He became the youngest player since at least 1983 to finish in the top 25 in a Korn Ferry Tour or PGA Tour event.

An amateur playing on a sponsor’s exemption, Russell won’t pocket any money for the finish. But he did qualify for next week’s Korn Ferry event, the Veritex Bank Championship in Texas, as a result of finishing in the top 25.

“It was an awesome week,” he said. “It was a blast.”

Russell was outside the top 25 entering Sunday, but he surged 28 spots up the leaderboard thanks to a final round that included seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch.

“You’re always nervous,” he said of the final round. “So definitely the start of the round [I had nerves], but they kind of relaxed as we got kind of settled in and maybe a little bit more toward the end. But it was good.

“I just kind of try to go with the flow and take it as it comes to me and just try and stay cool.”

The closing 66 matched his low round of the event; he posted the same score Friday to make history on the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit. At 15 years, 5 months and 17 days, he became the youngest ever to make the cut; Gipper Finau, the younger brother of PGA Tour star Tony Finau, had the previous record, doing so at the 2006 Utah Championship, when he was 16 years, 20 days.

Big achievements on the golf course, though, are nothing new for Russell.

In 2023, the left-hander from Florida won the Junior PGA Championship by 7 shots and became the youngest winner of the Junior Players Championship. He won the AJGA Player of the Year award at a younger age than Tiger Woods.

Last month, he lost out in a playoff in a Monday qualifier for the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open.

China’s Guan Tianlang is the youngest to make the cut in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. He was 14 when he made the cut in the 2013 Masters, playing as the Asia-Pacific Amateur champion.

Widing became a first-time Korn Ferry winner, beating Steven Fisk and Patrick Cover in a playoff.

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