Updated 08:17 PM EST, Wed, Dec 08, 2021

Paul Chaplet Bags a Place in Masters with a 2-Under 70 Win at the Latin America Amateur

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Costa Rican golfer Paul Chaplet earned a place at the Masters after winning the second annual Latin American Amateur Championship (LAAC) on Sunday.

According to ESPN, the 16-year-old golfer is the second youngest and first competitor from the Central American country to enter the Masters this coming April.

After beating Venezuela's Jorge Garcia with a 2-under 70, Chaplet expressed happiness at his achievement, which also earned him a chance to qualify for the U.S. Open as well as the British Open, and an exemption to the Augusta National.

 "I wasn't expecting to win. I was expecting to shoot under par, which is my main goal, so that was accomplished. And with that came the win, so I can't really ask for much more," he told the Associated Press as posted by ABC News, adding that teeing it up with the world's best golfers is "all you can dream of."

Aside from this, Chaplet's latest feat also persuaded more college coaches to "take a leap of faith," and offer to take him under their wing, according to the Golf Channel.

Currently, Chaplet is in his senior year in high school, and is hoping to earn college scholarships from U.S. universities. He is considering four universities including, San Diego State, Arizona, San Diego State, Minnesota and Sam Houston State.

The outlet also spoke with his mentor and adversary Alvaro E. Ortiz, who expressed how proud he is of Chaplet's achievement after the 16-year-old wrapped his arms around his fellow Costa Rican golfer.

The LAAC, managed by the USGA, the R&A and the Augusta National, was designed after the Asian Amateur in order to help hone talented golfers like Hideki Matsuyama and Guan Tinglang to achieve their highest potential.

Like these two, Chaplet had once dreamt of becoming a great golfer.

"So that means that there is a possibility to play very well, even if you've never played in a PGA Tour event or you've never played with professional golfers. So I think there might be a chance that I can do something good when I play there," he said, referring to the competition.

Aside from admitting to the dream, the 16-year-old Costa Rican golfer also recalled how his interest in the sport was piqued.

"The coach told me, 'You want to hit a golf ball?' and I said, 'Yes.' And from that day on, I kind of grasped it," the former U.S. Kids' Championship winner explained, adding that he had no idea what golf even was when he got his first golf club at 10 years old.

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