PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida - Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, takes the lead after the second round of The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex.
Russell, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, fired a second-round 66, with eight birdies.
At just 14-years-old, he takes a four stroke lead over the field with 18 holes remaining. After opening with a first-round 70, Russell sat in a tie for fifth place. The class of 2027 grad, starting on No. 10, had five birdies before making the turn. In that stretch, he had two back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16. Russell parred No. 17 and added another birdie before making the turn at 5-under-par 31.
Russell kept his momentum with three consecutive birdies on Nos. 2-4 to end the day at 8-under-par 136.
Russell, in his first year of AJGA events, has two Junior All-Star wins this season. He also finished runner-up at the Team TaylorMade Invitational in May. Russell also won the Boy's Junior PGA Championship earlier this month.
I've been coming to THE PLAYERS since I was two years old. Being able to play where the PGA TOUR pros play with similar tees, similar hole locations - it really is a dream come true.
In a tie for second place, Jackson Byrd of Saint Simons Island, Georgia, finished the second round with a score of 3-under-par 69.
Byrd, who experienced a roller coaster of a first round which included five birdies and four bogeys, found more consistency within his swing during the second round, carding par or better on 16 holes.
The Georgia native currently holds a share of second place at 4-under-par 140 with Billy Davis of Spring Valley, California.
Davis entered the second round of the tournament at even-par 72, and after cashing in six birdies on the day, he has now earned himself the opportunity to tee off with the last group in the final round.
In fourth place is Phillip Dunham of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida at 3-under-par 141.
Rounding out the top five is Will Hartman of Marvin, North Carolina, and Blades Brown of Nashville, Tennessee, both are tied at 2-under-par 142.
Final-round tee times will run from 8:10-10:10 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 at TPC Sawgrass - THE PLAYERS Stadium Course on Sunday, September 3.
Thanks to a longtime partnership between the PGA TOUR and the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), 78 of the world's top-ranked male junior golfers, invited through the Rolex AJGA Rankings, will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play event mirroring THE PLAYERS Championship setup and hole locations.
The 17th annual Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex showcases the best of the next generation of future college and professional stars. To date, 53 past players have graduated to play in the PGA TOUR's PLAYERS Championship. Justin Thomas became the first Junior PLAYERS Championship alumni to win the professional event in 2021. He competed as a junior in 2008 and 2009. Scottie Scheffler was the second Junior PLAYERS competitor to win The PLAYERS in 2023 after competing three years in the event as a junior and being named the AJGA's 2013 Rolex Junior Player of the Year.
Representatives from a record-high 15 foreign countries are competing in one of the AJGA’s annual top fields, featuring seven of the top 10 boys in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.