American Jason Dufner on Sunday night admitted appearances had been deceptive after he claimed his first major title in the 95th US PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Dufner, who equalled the lowest score in major history with a second-round 63, carded a closing 68 to finish 10 under par, two shots ahead of overnight leader Jim Furyk.
The 36-year-old is famous for displaying no emotion on the course but conceded his nerves were jangling as he protected a two-shot lead over the closing stretch.
"I come across as a pretty cool customer I guess but there are definitely some nerves out there when you are trying to win a major championship," Dufner said.
"It probably has not sunk in. I can't believe this is happening to me. To come back from a couple of years ago when I lost in a play-off feels really really good.
"I decided that I was going to be confident and put my best foot forward and play aggressive to try to win this thing. The last two holes were a little unfortunate but I am happy to get the job done and it's a big step in my career.
"My name will always be on that trophy and no-one can take that from me. It's a great accomplishment for me."
Beginning the day one shot behind Furyk, Dufner took command with some brilliant iron play, holing from four feet for birdie on the fourth and a matter of inches on the fifth, eighth and 16th to help erase the memories of his late collapse in the same event two years ago.
Dufner led by five shots in Atlanta after nearest challenger Keegan Bradley triple-bogeyed the 15th, only to find water on the same hole minutes later. After doing well to escape with a bogey there, he failed to get up and down from sand on the next and then three-putted the 17th.
Both men parred the 18th to go into a three-hole play-off which Bradley won by a shot, but the two have gone on to become close friends and enjoyed what Dufner described as a "bro-hug" beside the 18th green.
Furyk was aiming to follow Phil Mickelson as the second consecutive 43-year-old major winner and make amends for a nightmare 2012 in which he held or shared the lead after 54 holes in four tournaments and failed to win any, as well as bogeying the final two holes to lose his vital singles match to Sergio Garcia at the Ryder Cup.
He crucially birdied the 16th, with Dufner already inches away, to stay two behind with two to play, but fluffed a pitch on the 17th to bogey and also dropped a shot at the last.
"I wish I could have put a little heat on him and made him work those last two holes a little bit harder," Furyk said. "Wish I had made a couple pars, at least, and put some heat on him, but I wasn't able to do it.
"I feel good about my chances in the future. I'm disappointed it's been a while since I've won and I've had some chances to close the door and haven't done it, but I guess it's days like this that will make the next one sweeter."