Last Thursday he was a nobody in golfing terms, a 250-1 shot preparing for only his 16th Tour event.
But by Sunday Ben Curtis was happy to declare himself "up there with the elite" after pulling off the greatest shock in Open history.
So is this man of Kent, Ohio, destined to be remembered as a one-hit wonder, who simply got lucky on a remarkable day around the sandy links of Kent, England?
Or will Curtis, whose world ranking has shot up from 396 to 35 on the back of his stunning Sandwich triumph, go on to further Major success?
The 26-year-old will not want for lack of opportunity. He is now eligible for every Open until 2043, when he will be 66.
He can also play in the next five Masters, US Opens and US PGA championships - starting at next month's PGA in Rochester, New York.
Curtis can also compete in any event he chooses on the US Tour for the next five years, as well as the next 10 Players' Championships.
Not bad a for a player who was sifting through the T-shirt outlets for souvenirs early last week, only to pick up the Claret Jug instead.
Open history is littered with players whose flame burned brightly for four days and then fizzled out just as quickly.
In 1935, an English club professional by the name of Alf Perry took a few days off and won by four shots at Muirfield.
He was last seen holding the trophy as he sat at Drem railway station waiting for a train home.
The Centenary Open in 1960 saw little-known Australian golfer Kel Nagle beat Arnold Palmer at the height of his powers, before disappearing back Down Under.
But Curtis can turn to several Americans from more recent history for a word of advice on how to avoid the perils of the one-Major syndrome.
Leonard is still searching for his second Major win
Justin Leonard was 25 when a closing 65 gave him a three-shot victory at Royal Troon in 1997, three years after turning pro.
It remains his only Major victory to date, although he was involved in the play-off at Carnoustie in 1999, from which Paul Lawrie emerged another surprise winner.
Lawrie has since returned to the form that made him what he was when he won the Open - the 159th-ranked player in the world.
David Duval was 29 when he triumphed at Royal Lytham & St Anne's two years ago, but has since plummeted down the world rankings at an alarming rate.
Mark Calcavecchia was also 29 when he beat Wayne Grady and Greg Norman in a play-off at Royal Troon in 1989.
He has not really contended since, a tie for 10th in 1997 his best effort.
But could Curtis go on to emulate Tom Watson, the last man to win the Open at the first attempt 28 years ago?
Watson, then 25, went on to win four more Opens in the next eight years to establish himself as one of the greats of the game.
Watson got very familiar with the Claret Jug
Nick Faldo, who also knows a thing or two about winning Opens, having collected the Claret Jug three times, was impressed by the composure Curtis displayed on Sunday.
"His swing remained lovely and smooth, with a nice backswing, and he putted extremely well, especially right at the end," said the six-time Major winner.
"If you are playing well, you feel that inner confidence or self belief to play how you want to play."
The confidence was certainly there as Curtis stormed to five under par, six under for his final round, after 11 holes.
But he prevailed despite dropping four shots in six holes coming home, only a courageous 10-footer for par on the last saving him from a play-off.
If he had missed that putt, Curtis might have remained a nobody, mentioned occasionally in dispatches at Open time.
As it is, he will always be Ben Curtis, Open champion 2003.
Which, as Colin Montgomerie or Phil Mickelson will tell you, would be quite enough for some people.