Miles Russell won another Florida Junior Tour event to continue his dominance of the Florida State Golf Association’s statewide organization.
Russell shot a bogey-free 67 last week at Sugar Mill Golf Club in New Smyrna Beach to win the 16-18 Sugar Mill Open at 9-under par 135, four shots ahead of Darren Zhou of Bradenton.
Russell, a Jacksonville Beach resident and one of the six First Coast players took part in this week’s Junior Players Championship, had a first-round 68 that included a double bogey on the 15th hole, followed by back-to-back birdies.
It was Russell’s fourth FJT win in nine starts this season. He has also won two American Junior Golf Association events and the Junior PGA, which earned him a spot on the US Junior Ryder Cup team to play Europe later this month before the Ryder Cup matches.
In his 16 AJGA, FJT and Junior PGA starts, Russell has won seven times and finished in the top-five 12 times and top-10 14 times.
Since his first FJT season in 2019, across three age groups, Russell has won 13 events and posted 38 top-10 finishes in 41 starts. He has placed 11 runner-up positions, 28 top-three and 34 top-five. He finished in the top-10 in 92.7 percent of his FJT starts and in the top-five in 82.9 percent.
Andrew Morgan of Jacksonville shot 146 to tie for ninth at Sugar Mill.
In the girls’ section, Cambree Hodge of Fleming Island in second place with 10-over 154, four shots behind the winner Angela Wang of Orlando. Emma Wells of Jacksonville (157) finished alone in fifth place.
Hard scoring at St. John’s
That newly renovated St. John’s Golf Club gave the field to the Florida Junior Tour St. Johns Open 13-15 all it could handle.
William Lisle of Brandenton shot 2-over 144 to win the boys’ division and Wendy Xizhao Wei of Winderemere shot a 70 in the second round to win the girls’ division at 2-over, and surpassed Sofia Rivera from St. Augustine with a birdie on the third playoff hole.
Jonah Nacional of St. Augustine led area players in the boys division with a tie for third at 6-over 148. Parker Melin of Ponte Vedra Beach (151) at number five, Charlie Hipp of St. Johns (152) tied for seventh and Jaspreet Kondal of St. Augustine (153) tied for ninth.
Rivera, who was tied for the lead on the 18th hole Sahana Chokshi of Jacksonville, shot 71 in the final round. Chokshi finished third at 6-over.
Danielle Daily of St. Augustine (153) tied for fourth and Alexia Iordanov of St. Augustine (154) in sixth place.
Robards leads Episcopal
The Episcopal boys golf team made it look easy on a tough course against a strong field.
Led by a 6-under 66 of Henry Robards, The Eagles won the Titan Invitational at Hammock Beach Golf Club in Palm Coast at 3-under 285, eight shots ahead of Nease and Lakewood Ranch.
Cam Goldknopf of Episcoal and Chase McBride of Nease in third place with a 2-under 70.
A California albatross
Brad Rollinson from Ponte Vedra Beach might not have made the cut for match play at the US Senior Amateur last week, but he had the best shot of anyone’s practice round.
Rollinson made albatross on the par-5 fourth of Martis Camp Club during a practice round, using a driver off the tee and holding a 5-wood at the 546-yard hole.
Rollinson, who recently regained his amateur status, had mixed success on the hole during the two stroke play qualifying rounds. He double-bogeyed it in the first round, but came back with a birdie in the second round. He shot 14-over 160, three shots short of the number required to go into match.
This article originally appeared on the Florida Times-Union: Miles Russell captures his fourth FJT win of 2023 and 13th overall