Florida phenom Miles Russell takes command in boys division at Junior PGA Championships

Kihei Akina posted his third straight 3-under-par 68, good enough for second place in the 47th Junior PGA Championships. The final 18 holes are slated for Friday at Hot Springs Country Club. (Photo by Louie Avery)


HOT SPRINGS, Ar. — Fourteen-year-old phenom Miles Russell tied the tournament’s low round of 65 Thursday in the 47th annual Junior PGA Championships to take a five-shot lead into the final round.

A native of Jacksonville Beach, Fl., Russell posted a pair of 67s in the first two rounds for a share of the lead with California golfer Michael Riebe. Russell had a clean round in the burning 105 heat with birdies at 4, 5, 6, 10, 15, and 18. Riebe was on a roller coaster with four birdies, six bogeys and a double bogey for a 75.

Miles Russell tees off Thursday at Hot Springs Country Club. (Photo by Louie Avery)

Kihei Akina of Alpine, Ut., posted his third consecutive 68 for second place. Billy Davis of Spring Valley, Ca., is another shot back at 205 in the 72-h0le event.

The field was cut to the low 30 scores at even par or better for the final round.

Hot Springs’ Will Gordon rallied with two birdies in the middle of his round, but two double bogeys and three bogeys doomed the 17-year-old Lakeside golfer to a 76. Gordon set the pace in the second round with a 65. He is tied for 19th at 212.


California’s Kylee Choi leading girls

Sixteen-year-old Kylee Choi of Murrieta, Ca., had birdies her final two holes and a 72. Choi’s 205 total is one shot better than Jasmine Koo of Cerritos, Ca. Gianna Clemente of Estero, Fl., and Alice Zhao of Shenyang, China, are at 207. Koo had the girl’s low round with a 67.

Girls shooting 6-over or better survived the cut.