Francesco Molinari said he was immensely proud to become the first Italian to win a major after clinching the Claret Jug with a two-shot victory at Carnoustie yesterday.
The world number 15 arrived in Scotland in tremendous form with two wins and two runners-up placings in his last five events.
He started the day three shots off the lead but held his nerve as those around him faltered on a day of blustery conditions.
A bogey-free two under par round of 69 was good enough to earn Molinari the breakthrough major win of his career.
He said: “How do I feel? Just disbelief, to be honest. It is amazing to stand here with the Claret Jug.
“I knew I was coming in with some good golf but my record around here was terrible.
“That didn’t make me too optimistic for the week but I tried to not think about it.
“To go the weekend bogey-free is unthinkable.
“I am very proud. Playing with Tiger was another challenge because of the crowds and everything.
“But I felt ready for the challenge.
“I couldn’t watch Xander (Schauffele) play the last two holes.
“I went to the putting green because I felt sick watching on TV.
“I don’t know how my wife watches me all the time. I couldn’t do it.
“When I look at the names on the Claret Jug, it is the best golfers in history so to be on there is incredible.
“For someone like me coming from Italy, not really a major golfing country, it’s been an incredible journey.”
Molinari’s victory came at a cost as he missed his scheduled flight back to Heathrow, although he was quite content to spend an extra night in Scotland.
He said: “I had an easyJet flight at 9pm to get back home so that’s gone.
“I have a holiday planned for next week, somewhere nice with the family.
“Hopefully, we can still make the holiday and just relax for a few days.”
Molinari hopes his victory will help grow the sport in his homeland.
He joked: “It depends if Ferrari won the Grand Prix. If they won they will probably get the headlines.
“But, no, obviously, it will be massive news in Italy.
“Hopefully, there were a lot of young kids watching on TV today like I was watching Constantino in 1995 coming so close.
“Hopefully, they will get as inspired as I was at the time, watching him vie for the Claret Jug.”