Tiger Woods says his Open win justifies the changes he has made to his game.
Woods had a run of 10 winless majors and lost his world number one spot after changing his swing and splitting with coach Butch Harmon in 2002.
But he said: "All the hard hours I've put in with my coach Hank Haney to get to this point has been a lot of fun.
"We were criticised for making changes, but winning this again is one of the reasons I made these changes, so I could be back here at this level."
After winning his 10th major and the second Open of his career at St Andrews, the 29-year-old told BBC Sport: "It's pretty exciting.
"This is as good as it gets - to win the Open Championship at the Home of Golf is a dream come true.
"Look at the leaderboard going into Sunday - anything could have happened.
"I was very fortunate that I hit the ball so good. It was so much fun to control it and place it the way I did."
TIGER'S 10 MAJORS
Masters: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005
US Open: 2000, 2002
Open: 2000, 2005
USPGA: 1999, 2000
Some doubted the American would ever get back to the devastating form that helped him amass eight majors by 2002.
That was the year after he achieved the 'Tiger Slam', when he held all four majors at once, although he did not win them all in the same calendar year.
But signs of a Woods revival have been there for all to see this year and he duly ended his major drought by lifting the Masters in April - which put him halfway down the road to equalling Jack Nicklaus' record major haul of 18.
Woods' latest triumph sees him overtake Gary Player and Ben Hogan and move into third place on the all-time list of major winners behind Nicklaus and Walter Hagen, who gained 11.
Woods also admitted he never expected to hold 10 majors by the age of 29.
"When I started on the Tour I didn't think I'd have this many before I was 30 (in December)," he said.
"Normally your golden years are in your 30s - hopefully that will be the case."
He also spoke of his "love" of St Andrews - scene of his 2000 Open triumph.
"There are some courses you feel comfortable on. This is one of them. I enjoy the lines - they fit my eye."
Woods also thanked the St Andrews fans for "being as boisterous and supportive" and revealed he had been motivated to win for his father, who is battling cancer.
After capturing the Masters in April Woods broke down because dad Earl had been too sick to attend the event for the first time in his son's career.
Woods senior was also too weak to make the trip to St Andrews this week and when Tiger was presented with the Claret Jug he told the crowd: "My dad's at home watching - I want to say 'Dad, I love you and thanks so much'."
He later added: "Dad's hanging in there as always, being stubborn.
"We (the family) are just trying to make him as positive as we can. This, I hope, just gives him extra fight.
"If I can fight and grind through this, why can't he?"