Martin Kaymer admitted it wasn't until the final putt had dropped that he was able to relax as he claimed his first win of the season at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
The 27-year-old German held off the challenge of Charl Schwartzel to claim a two-shot victory at the Gary Player Country Club in South Africa.
A burst of three consecutive birdies around the turn saw him take control of the tournament and another at the 14th, following a wayward drive, proved decisive as he registered his first success since the HSBC Champions event last November.
"I never felt that I had won it," Kaymer said afterwards. "After the tee-shot on 18 when I had a two-shot lead, I felt comfortable then. But it was always tight.
"Charl played a really good round of golf and Louis (Oosthuizen) played well too, but he was a little unlucky here and there.
"I felt a little more pressure. I've been in the lead a few times in my career but this time, after Bernard (Langer) won (the seniors event), the German media was writing about the double."
The German endured a difficult start to the year and struggled with his game for much of the campaign, but acknowledged that his starring role at the Ryder Cup has served to rebuild his confidence.
"I was stressing a little bit to get ready for the Ryder Cup - it's a big responsibility when you tee it up, not only for your country but for the whole of Europe," he added.
"Finally, everything came together and I could gain confidence. At the Ryder Cup, obviously what happened there, that was huge. I will never forget that in my career.
"That gave me so much motivation. I will never have a bigger putt in my life."