Miles Russell, 15, made his PGA Tour debut. He was strangely normal

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DETROIT – Miles Russell’s pants didn’t quite fit during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Thursday. A recent growth spurt has left the 15-year-old, now 5 feet 7 inches, in pants designed for someone shorter. Russell, who weighs 120 pounds and has a 28-inch waist, showed off his ankles as he strolled around Detroit Golf Club.

Russell made his PGA Tour debut, shooting a 2-over 74. Born in 2009, he signed autographs for kids and adults while being followed by a PGA Tour Live camera. He teed off for 7,370 yards and played alongside the top-ranked players.

The most unusual part? Everything seemed surprisingly normal.

This year, two 16-year-olds have already played in PGA Tour events. Last year, 15-year-old Oliver Betschart qualified for the Bermuda Championship, becoming the youngest player in nearly a decade to compete in a PGA Tour event.

Now, it was Russell’s turn. In April, he competed in the Korn Ferry Tour’s LECOM Suncoast Classic, becoming the youngest player to make the cut. He finished T20 in that event, with rounds of 70 and 66.

Rocket Mortgage organizers invited Russell after noticing his performance, hoping to draw attention to their event. Big names are rare in Detroit, so compelling stories are essential. The field included top amateur players and recent pros.

Russell, who was home-schooled in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., began playing golf at age 2 and has broken par at 6. He runs a small business, has an agent and has no NIL deals with TaylorMade and Nike.

Russell didn’t arrive in Detroit as a starstruck kid. Rico Hoey, one of Russell’s playing partners, was surprised by how calm and solid Russell was on the course. Russell shot a 74 in his first round on the PGA Tour.

While some may be uncomfortable with young talent turning pro, it continues to happen. Golf is getting younger, and the gap between young players and pros is closing. Russell averaged 292 yards off the tee, which ranked 78th in a field of 156 players.

Despite his young age, Russell approached the experience with maturity, focusing on his game and learning from the professionals.

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