Miles Russell places second in Drive, Chip and Putt finals

Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, Fla. drives during the Drive Chip and Putt Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Augusta, Georgia. [MICHAEL HOLAHAN/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Miles Russell says his favorite golfer is Phil Mickelson “because he acknowledges the fans at golf tournaments.”

On Sunday morning at Augusta National Golf Club, the 9-year-old from Jacksonville Beach, Fla., did his best to impersonate the three-time Masters winner.

Miles, a third-grader, finished second overall in the 7-9 boys age division, while placing first in both the driving and chipping portions of the competition.

“It was an incredible day,” said Joe Russell, Miles’ dad. “We can’t thank the Masters enough for giving us this opportunity. I can honestly say this is something neither of us will ever forget.”

Miles captured first in the drive portion with a blast of 183.5 yards. He followed it up with a victory in chipping, as his two chips totaled 7.6 feet from the cup.

Miles earned trophies for his two victories.

“What a day,” Joe Russell said. “When we were out on the practice range I asked Miles what he thought about this place.”

“The grass is unbelievable,” Miles responded.

Prior to the competition, Miles said his strongest skill in the challenge would be chipping, with his weakest being putting.

Miles finished ninth out of 10 competitors in putting, which dropped him to second in the final standings.

“Overall, just a phenomenal experience,” his father said. “I think Miles may have gotten a little excited on the putting green, but can you blame him? It was an incredible day.”

Russell hopes to be a professional golfer when he grows up. His dream foursome includes Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

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