Miles Russell, Yana Wilson named AJGA Rolex Junior Players of the Year
02 Nov 2023
by American Junior Golf Association

Yana Wilson and Miles Russell (AJGA)
Yana Wilson and Miles Russell (AJGA)

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.

Miles Russell

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.

Russell’s 2023 highlights:

- First-Team Rolex Junior All-American
- Won, Boy’s Junior PGA Championship
- Won, The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex
- Won, TaylorMade TP5 Junior All-Star
- Won, Moon Golf Junior All-Star
- Runner-up, Team TaylorMade Invitational
- T3, Scott Robertson Memorial
- Member of the AJGA Junior All-Star Team
- Member of the United States Junior Ryder Cup Team
- Member of the Wyndham Cup East Team

Yana Wilson

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.

Wilson’s 2023 highlights:
- Two-time First Team Rolex Junior All-American
- Won, Mizuho Americas Open
- Won, AJGA Girls Invitational
- Runner-up, Rolex Girls Junior Championship
- Runner-up, AJGA Invitational presented by PING
- T2, Girl’s Junior PGA Championship
- Third, PING Heather Farr Classic
- Three-time member of the Wyndham Cup West Team
- Two-time member of the United States PING Junior Solheim Cup Team
- Member of the United States Junior Ryder Cup Team

2023 Rolex Junior All-Americans

Boys – First Team

Blades Brown of Nashville, Tennessee
Billy Davis of Spring Valley, California
Phillip Dunham of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Wheaton Ennis of Litchfield Park, Arizona
Nicholas Gross of Downingtown, Pennsylvania – 3rd honor
Henry Guan of Dallas, Texas – 2nd honor
Will Hartman of Marvin, North Carolina – 2nd honor
Bryan Kim of Brookeville, Maryland – 3rd honor
Jay Leng Jr of San Diego, California – 2nd honor
Cayden Pope of Lexington, Kentucky – 2nd honor
Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, Florida – 2023 Rolex Junior Player of the Year
Tyler Watts of Huntsville, Alabama

Girls – First Team

Leigh Chien of Irvine, California – 4th honor
Gianna Clemente of Estero, Florida – 4th honor
Anna Davis of Spring Valley, California – 3rd honor
Ashleen Kaur of Cypress, Texas
Ryleigh Knaub of Debary, Florida
Jasmine Koo of Cerritos, California – 3rd honor
Katie Li of Basking Ridge, New Jersey – 4th honor
Gracie McGovern of Scottsdale, Arizona
Kiara Romero of San Jose, California – 4th honor
Asterisk Talley of Chowchilla, California – 2nd honor
Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada – 2nd honor, 2023 Rolex Junior Player of the Year
Alice Ziyi Zhao of (China) Irvine, California – 3rd honor

Boys – Second Team

Kush Arora of Pleasanton, California
Ronin Banerjee of Irvine, California
Johnnie Clark of Mesa, Arizona – 2nd honor
Ethan Gao of Alpharetta, Georgia – 4th honor
Rex Hargrove of Houston, Texas
William Jennings of Greenville, South Carolina
Noah Kent of Naples, Florida
Joshua Kim of Danville, California
Byungho Lee of (South Korea) Plano, Texas – 2nd honor
Ethan Paschal of Fayetteville, North Carolina
Jack Turner of Orlando, Florida
Charlie Wylie of Houston, Texas

Girls – Second Team

Kylie Chong of Torrance, California – 2nd honor
Molly Brown Davidson of Springville, Alabama
Kathryn Ha of Roanoke, Virginia
Anna Huang of (Canada) Coto De Caza, California
Irene Kim of Woodstock, Maryland
Lauren Kim of Surrey, British Columbia – 2nd honor
Yujie Liu of (China) Encinitas, California
Megan Meng of Pennington, New Jersey – 2nd honor
Nikki Oh of Torrance, California
Anna Song of Los Angeles, California
Siuue Wu of (Hong Kong) Reunion, Florida – 2nd honor
Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver, British Columbia – 2nd honor

Boys – Honorable Mention

Kihei Akina of Kahuku, Hawaii
Jake Albert of Blacksburg, Virginia
Supapon Amornchaichan of Bangkok, Thailand
Carson Bertagnole of Pinehurst, North Carolina
Boston Bracken of Saint George, Utah – 2nd honor
Jackson Byrd of Saint Simons Island, Georgia – 2nd honor
Hamilton Coleman of Augusta, Georgia
Gerardo Gomez of (Mexico) Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida – 2nd honor
Andrew Hinson of Huntsville, Alabama
Mason Howell of Thomasville, Georgia
Sterling Hurd of Austin, Texas
Jaeyoung (Jeffrey) Kwak of (South Korea) La Mirada, California – 2nd honor
Chase Kyes of Birmingham, Alabama
Alex Long of (Canada) Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Michael Lugiano of Jackson Township, Pennsylvania
William Ma of San Diego, California
Tyler Mawhinney of Fleming Island, Florida
Nathan Miller of Dallas, Texas
JP Odland of Tiburon, California
Michael Riebe of Encinitas, California
Brooks Simmons of Dallas, Texas
Eric Yun of Menlo Park, California
Boyi (Barry) Zhang of (China) Lake Mary, Florida
Eric Zhao of Toronto, Ontario

Girls – Honorable Mention

Charlotte Cantonis of Tampa, Florida
Yu-Chu Chen of (Taiwan) Allen, Texas
Aphrodite Deng of (Canada) Short Hills, New Jersey
Olivia Duan of Cupertino, California – 2nd honor
Lisa Herman of Jenks, Oklahoma
Sara Im of Duluth, Georgia – 4th honor
Thanana Kotchasanmanee of (Thailand) Rome, Georgia – 2nd honor
Jaclyn LaHa of Pleasanton, California – 4th honor
Amy Lee of (South Korea) Langley, British Columbia
Mi Li of (China) Orlando, Florida
Michelle Liu of Vancouver, British Columbia – 2nd honor
Luna Lu of Burnaby, British Columbia
Macy Pate of Winston Salem, North Carolina – 2nd honor
Lily Peng of San Ramon, California
Elizabeth Rudisill of Charlotte, North Carolina – 2nd honor
Eliana Saga of Stevenson Ranch, California
Scarlett Schremmer of Birmingham, Alabama
Natalie Yen of West Linn, Oregon
Helen Yeung of Clarksville, Maryland
Lucy Yuan of (Canada) La Jolla, California – 3rd honor
Amelie Zalsman of Saint Petersburg, Florida
Yu Zeng of Beijing, China
Angela Zhang of Bellevue, Washington – 3rd honor
Donina Zhou of Trabuco Canyon, California

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