Australia's Lukas Michel has become the first international winner in the 39-year history of US Mid-Amateur event.
The 25-year-old Victorian twice came back from three-hole deficits to win the title on Thursday, which sees him earn a spot at the Masters.
Michel had a one-up lead over Joseph Deraney after four holes in the 36-hole championship match at Colorado Golf Club.
But that was the last time he led until a birdie on the 33rd hole.
Michel then went two-up with another birdie on the par-5 16th before polishing off a 2-and-1 win with par on the 17th.
"The USGA championships are the premier events in amateur golf; the level of competition is so high and to win from a field like that is incredible," a jubilant Michel told AAP.
The US Mid-Amateur affords the winner an invitation to the Masters and US Open, the latter being held at New York's famed Winged Foot next year.
"It doesn't seem real right now, but I can't wait for the opportunity and the experience of the Masters and US Open,” he said.
"As a kid growing up in Australia, watching the Masters final round on a Monday morning (AEST) is pretty much the best morning of the year."
You’re headed to Winged Foot!— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) September 20, 2019
With a 2&1 victory over Joseph Deraney in the #USMidAm final, Lukas Michel, of Australia, became the first international winner in the championship’s 39-year history. pic.twitter.com/6ypJXWJJ5t
He admitted teeing up at the hallowed turf at Augusta never seemed possible given he paused his promising junior golf career to undertake an engineering degree at the University of Melbourne.
But he never gave up on his dream to play golf and uses his two part-time jobs to bankroll the endless travel and tournament expenses.
Michel works three nights a week at the Melbourne Golf Academy driving range, in addition to caddying at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
"I put most of that money into my golf career, so to win an event like the US Mid-Amateur means everything to me as a golfer," he said.
"I want to turn pro in the next 12 months and playing in two major championships will be really valuable."
Wonderful year for Aussie golfers
The 25-year-old Michel was the third Australian to reach a USGA final this year.
Gabriela Ruffels won the US Women's Amateur while Sue Wooster was runner-up in the US Senior Women's Amateur.
Michel’s triumph was widely celebrated in the golf world.
Huge year for Australian’s in @USGA events...— Luke Elvy (@Luke_Elvy) September 19, 2019
US Amateur - @Koalakarl2001 Q/F
US Mid-Am - @LukasJMichel 🏆
US Women’s Am - @GabiRuffels 🏆
Senior Women Am-Sue Wooster R/U
*Lukas Michel has now qualified for The Masters & US Open at Winged Foot in 2020. #LukasMichel #USMidAm
INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY— USGA (@USGA) September 19, 2019
With a 2&1 victory over Joseph Deraney in the #USMidAm final, Lukas Michel, of Australia, became the first international winner in the championship’s 39-year history. pic.twitter.com/dbWwnTvQSN
It's not about how you start, but how you finish.— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) September 20, 2019
Lukas Michel trailed Joe Deraney for much of the 36-hole final of the U.S. Mid-Amateur on Thursday, but rallied for a 2-and-1 victory at Colorado Golf Club. https://t.co/ZR8Uy0IRoa pic.twitter.com/R6HS6H82Bo