Ten years on from nearly winning the Open at St Andrews, and after some incredible highs and lows since then, Michael Campbell pulled off a quite stunning first Major victory - by two strokes - in the US Open at Pinehurst last night.
The 36-year-old qualifier became the first New Zealander since Bob Charles in 1963 to win one of golf's top four prizes - and in the process ended Tiger Woods' hopes of a first-ever Grand Slam in the same season.
The Masters champion was eight adrift of overnight leader Retief Goosen with just 16 holes to play, but as the defending champion opened the door with a nightmare outward 41 it was not only Woods who accepted the invitation.
Campbell, resuming four behind, had birdied the first from 12 feet and by the time he parred the next six he found himself two ahead.
A three-putt bogey on the eighth meant an outward 35, but as Woods made his move with birdies at the tenth, 11th and short 15th, Campbell responded by sinking birdie putts of 30 feet at the tenth and 12th.
It then looked as if Woods might close the gap again when Campbell found sand at the 15th.
But as he splashed out to six feet and made the par putt, Woods, just short of the green in two on the 492-yard par four next, played a weak chip to 12 feet and missed.
Campbell was three clear again and that became four when Woods three-putted the 190-yard 17th - the hole he bogeyed to lose his chance of catching Payne Stewart in 1999.
Woods, whose nine major victories have all come when he was in the lead with a round to play, was not quite done as he curled in an eightfoot closing putt for a 69.
Seconds later, though, there was a roar from the 17th green and he must have sensed what it was. Campbell had found the target from 18 feet and the difference between them was back to three.
A double bogey was all he needed on the last as a result, but with tears welling up he bogeyed it for a 69 that matched the low round of the day. He finished on the level par mark of 280 - one more than Stewart took.
For European tour member Campbell it was an incredible turnaround in his fortunes.
The 36-year-old abandoned the US Tour when it turned into a such a nightmare two
years ago that he said he felt aliens had invaded his body.
He had missed the halfway cut in his four previous US Opens.
Two weeks ago Campbell was in the qualifying tournament for the event at Walton Heath - the first ever to be held in Europe - and avoided a play-off only by pitching to four feet for a closing birdie.
He thus becomes the first qualifier since Steve Jones in 1996 to take the title, but it is the story of what has happened to him in the decade since St Andrews which is the most remarkable part of the tale.
Three clear with a round to play on the Old Course, he finished a stroke behind John Daly and Costantino Rocca, missing an eagle putt on the final green which would have put him in the play-off.
But from that high - it was his arrival on the world stage - he then suffered a career- threatening wrist injury and lost his European tour card. He feared he would have to return to work in his home country as a telephone engineer.
Campbell even confessed later that he became so disenchanted with the game that he deliberately missed a putt so he would miss a halfway cut in a tournament.
But his love for golf eventually returned and so did his form. He climbed into the world's top 20, only to then crash again.
Campbell joined the US Tour, but he, his wife and two children never really settled into the lifestyle. Eventually the family returned to their base in Brighton and just months later he won the Irish Open at Portmarnock.
Still the rollercoaster ride continued, however. Last winter he missed a string of halfway cuts as he worked on changes to his swing, but in Qatar in March former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane asked him the simple question: "What on earth do you think you are doing?"
It woke Campbell up to go back to the swing that had served him well in the past. Now look what he has done.