Just a few months after playing in the sport’s most recognizable tournament, young Costa Rican golf star Paul Chaplet is set to make a run for the leaderboard at this week’s Junior World Golf Championships.
The 17-year-old Tico tees off Tuesday morning at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California in his effort to improve over his seventh place finish in last year’s championships, where he ended with a score of four over par.
Among Chaplet’s toughest competition in this year’s field will be 2015 champion Joaquín Niemann of Chile and China’s Guan Tianlang, who is the youngest player to ever take part in the Masters Golf Tournament.
Chaplet was the second youngest golfer at this year’s Masters tournament behind Guan. He finished in last place with 21 over par. Still, Chaplet became the first Costa Rican and first Central American to ever compete in the prestigious tournament.
The high school senior who attends Saint Mary School in Escazú, just west of San José, is looking at colleges in the U.S., including San Diego State.
Chaplet won the Latin American Amateur Championship in January, which earned him automatic qualification for the Masters. He remains the top ranked amateur player in the Central American and Caribbean region heading into this week’s tournament.
In total, 15 Costa Ricans between the ages of 6 and 17 will be competing in the Junior World Golf Championships. The tournament ends Friday.