BRASELTON, Ga. – Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, was named the top male junior golfer in the world with the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Junior Player of the Year award. Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada, earned the top honor in the Girls Division and joins Russell on a historical list of Rolex Junior Players of the Year : Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler, Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park and Rose Zhang.
Russell, who turned 15-years-old on November 1, is the youngest player in the Boys Division to receive Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors. Tiger Woods was previously the youngest player at 15 years, 10 months, 2 days when he was honored in 1991. Both Russell and Woods are the only male players to win the award at age 15.
Wilson is the first Nevada native to win Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors in either division. Both juniors are also honored as First Team Rolex Junior All-Americans with this distinction.
The Rolex Junior All-America Teams annually recognize the world’s premier junior golfers. The 2023 class includes 48 boys and 48 girls, ages 14-19, from 20 states and eight countries, including Canada, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.
These young men and women distinguished themselves through exceptional play in 148 national junior golf events, 130 of which were conducted by the AJGA. The teams were determined exclusively through the Rolex AJGA Rankings as of October 11.
For more information, please contact Hailey Hernandez (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (678) 425-1788 or visit ajga.org.
In 2023, Russell had four wins in eight national junior golf events to end the season at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The 2027 grad started his first full season of AJGA events with two Junior All-Star event wins in just three weeks. He won the TaylorMade TP5 Junior All-Star and the Moon Golf Junior All-Star by a combined 15 strokes. The TaylorMade TP5 Junior All-Star victory was his first career AJGA win.
In May, Russell finished in a tie for third place at the Scott Robertson Memorial. He then made his AJGA Invitational debut at the Team TaylorMade Invitational and had rounds of 66-66-68 for a total of 16-under-par 200. Russell birdied two of his final three holes to force a playoff and finished runner-up.
Russell finished T7 at the AJGA Junior Championship presented by Visit Tallahassee and T13 at the Wyndham Invitational presented by Odyssey, hosted at PGA TOUR venue Sedgefield Country Club. He continued his impressive play with a T10 finish at the Junior North and South Amateur in July. He also made his debut at Wyndham Cup, the AJGA’s marquee match play event, as a member of the East Team and had a 2-1-1 record.
In August, Russell recorded another win at the Boy’s Junior PGA Championship by another impressive margin of victory, finishing seven shots ahead of the field. His win at Hot Springs Country Club also qualified him for the Junior Ryder Cup where he competed for the United States in Rome, Italy.
Finishing off August, Russell won for the fourth time this year at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex. At just 14-years-old, he became the youngest champion in the event’s 17-year history. His 6-under-par 66 in the second round was the lowest round of the tournament at TPC Sawgrass – THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, the home of the PGA TOUR’s THE PLAYERS Championship. The three-shot victory also marked his first Invitational win.
Russell will end his 2023 campaign with his first appearance at the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
The class of 2024 grad earned First Team Rolex Junior All-America honors for the second time, ending the season at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. In 10 national junior golf events, Wilson secured two wins and four additional top-three finishes.
The Henderson native started her campaign with a T14 finish at the 2022 Rolex Tournament of Champions. Making her 2023 debut, Wilson had her second appearance at the Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex. She also competed at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. In April, Wilson finished third at the PING Heather Farr Classic.
In her first event of the summer, Wilson won the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club for her second career Invitational win. Wilson played alongside Rose Zhang, a two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year, who was competing in the LPGA Tour field.
Two weeks later, Wilson finished solo second at the 32nd Rolex Girls Junior Championship. The 17-year-old was also selected as a member of the Wyndham Cup West Team for the third consecutive year and has a career record of 5-4-3.
Returning as the defending champ, Wilson earned medalist honors at the 74th U.S. Girls’ Junior, hosted at the United States Air Force Academy Eisenhower Golf Club. The class of 2024 grad advanced to the Round of 32 in match play. She also finished tied for second at the Girl’s Junior PGA Championship.
In September, Wilson won her second Invitational of the year at the AJGA Girls Invitational at Streamsong Resort – Black Course. Her rounds of 70-66-70 to finish at 13-under-par 206 for a three-stroke victory. Her second-round 7-under-par 66 was the lowest round of the tournament.
Wilson was also named a two-time member of the United States PING Junior Solheim Cup Team and a 2023 Junior Ryder Cup team participant. She secured Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors with another runner-up finish at the AJGA Invitational presented by PING for her final appearance of the 2023 season.
Russell, Wilson and the 2023 Rolex Junior All-America Teams will be honored at the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 18, hosted at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. ‘The Greatest Night in Junior Golf’ will recognize the accomplishments and celebrate the achievements of the Rolex Junior All-America teams, Rolex Scholastic Junior All-America honorees and Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award recipients. Rolex Junior All-Americans and a field of the top players in the Rolex AJGA Rankings will compete at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, November 18-22 at TPC San Antonio – Canyons Course in San Antonio, Texas.