Pebble Beach Pro Am winner Ted Potter Jr. choked back tears while delivering only the second winner's press conference of his PGA Tour career.
The 34-year-old succumbed to the emotions built up after a bizarre, career-threatening injury and years spent battling on the American mini tours.
"It's just a truly unbelievable thing to win here at Pebble," Potter said.
With golf's biggest names chasing him on one of the world's most iconic courses, the unheralded American calmly closed with a three-under 69 to finish at 17 under and earn a three-shot win.
"I'm proud of the way I finished the tournament coming down the stretch on the back nine," Potter said.
Left in his wake were former World No.1 Jason Day (70), current No.1 Dustin Johnson (72), five-time major winner Phil Mickelson (67) and Chez Reavie (68) – the quartet sharing second at 14 under.
"I'm sure everybody (thought) Dustin's probably going to win and I knew I'm the underdog," Potter said.
"What have I got to lose, really? Why put more pressure on myself to say I'm playing against the World No.1? Just go play golf."
Potter has endured a hard-fought journey to the top tier of golf.
After turning pro as a teenager in 2002 he missed every cut in his first 24 starts on the Nationwide Tour, now called the Web.com.
After 60 victories on the mini tours, Potter made it to the PGA Tour in 2012 and recorded a maiden win but battled to retain his playing card in the years following.
"When I first turned pro I was working at the cart barn (at a golf course) in Orlando, so on my days off I'd play some mini-tour events to try to win a couple hundred bucks," he said.
"There's always a time when you definitely are living pay cheque to pay cheque as a mini-tour player, so that's a lot of pressure on you when you're trying to save enough money to go to Q-School at the end of it."
In 2014, Potter took a wrong step while wearing thongs outside his Montreal hotel during the Canadian Open and fractured his right ankle.
"I broke my fibula and tibia, I had 12 screws and two plates put in it," he said.
Potter earns his second career start the Masters, plus status on the US Tour until the end of 2020.
"I'm pleased to be able to pick a schedule now and pick some courses that I like and work hard," he said.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press