• I'd been a pro 11 years but I was still in the process of learning to play at that level. At that time it was all about keeping my card-Micheel.
• Micheel identifies Masters champion Jon Rahm as the standout candidate given his long game prowess.
"This was another opportunity to blow a tournament. I was so concerned at not looking foolish."
With searing honesty, Shaun Micheel is recalling the traumas he felt during his only US tour victory, one that came in a major and stunned the golfing world.
This week, nearly 20 years on from winning that US PGA Championship, he returns to the scene at Oak Hill. As a past winner Micheel takes his place alongside the world's best players for the 105th running of what is now the second men's major of the year.
Fans will inevitably seek out the spot from where Micheel struck one of the greatest 72nd-hole approaches in major history.
It capped a curious 2003, when the expected dominance of Tiger Woods failed to materialise. Instead, Canadian Mike Weir won the Masters, Jim Furyk grabbed his lone major at the US Open and the little known Ben Curtis triumphed at The Open, in his first major appearance.
So, it was probably in keeping that a player without a victory in 163 previous PGA Tour starts, and ranked a lowly 169th in the world, would complete the quartet of winners of that year's grand slam competitions.
Not that Micheel saw it coming. "Leading into the tournament I hadn't played very well," the 54-year-old told BBC Sport. "I figured just making the cut would have been adequate.
"I'd been a pro 11 years but I was still in the process of learning to play at that level. At that time it was all about keeping my card.
"I was just really excited to be there. I didn't have any thought that I was going to win or even that I could win."
Micheel travelled to Rochester in up state New York with his heavily pregnant wife Stephanie. Expecting their first child was a helpful distraction.
Late on the Friday of that steamy August week he holed a birdie putt on the ninth green, his final hole of the round, to take the halfway lead. "And then my life really kind of changed," he said.
"I spent a good bit of time in the press centre just trying to get people to know me a bit. And with Stephanie being pregnant there were things I was focused on besides my golf, which in a way was probably a blessing."
Nevertheless demons occupied his head. He had been in this sort of position before and failed to capitalise. "I had blown a few tournaments leading into that year," Micheel recalled.
"I needed to get through Saturday and that day I probably played better than any of the other days, but - without really falling apart at the end - I bogeyed the last three holes."
He added: "It was a pretty nerve-wracking time, it really was. There is so much time between shots, your mind wanders a lot.
"And a lot of what is inside your brain is negative and I had certainly battled that throughout my career. Nerves. Maybe I was just afraid to win? I'm not sure."
Regarding this as "an opportunity to blow another tournament" was perhaps not the best mindset, but that was ultimately banished by a telling intervention from a fellow pro.
Leading by a shot, Micheel arrived very early for Sunday's final round through impatience. Tee off was not until 15:05 and the seconds, minutes and hours he spent waiting dragged, seemingly interminably.
"There was a note taped to my locker from Loren Roberts," Micheel revealed. "I still have it today and it just basically said 'Shaun you're as good as anybody out here, go out and win. I'm rooting for you'. And he signed it.
"That really calmed me down."
Coming to the last hole, Micheel was one ahead of Chad Campbell and following his drive the leader was hitting from the left semi-rough. He was 174 yards out and had played from a similar distance in Tuesday's practice round.
It was a seven-iron then and it was a seven-iron now.
"I think what's most difficult for players trying to play safe, is that with the last glance you see that flag flapping in the breeze," Micheel said.
"And your mind goes immediately from a safe place on the green to picking up that target. I don't know if that's what I saw at the very end, I was clearly playing a little bit to the right of the flag."
His ball landed softly and perfectly. It ran to within a couple of inches of the hole. Recalling a better or more decisive final-hole approach in major history is not easy.
"For it to come off, to have a walk off putt where I didn't have to think about it for my first win was pretty spectacular," he smiled.
Two decades on, Micheel wonders whether it will be possible for someone to emerge from the pack in the way that he did back then. The par-70 Oak Hill has been renovated and stretched to 7,394 yards since his triumph.
It will put a premium on ball striking and quality approach play. "It is beautiful, it really is," Micheel said after making two visits in the past six weeks.
"A lot of the trees are gone and the greens have gone back to the old design.
"It'll be cool. The ball won't travel nearly as far and the course has been stretched out. But it looks really fantastic and I can't wait to hear what the younger generation think of this course."
Micheel identifies Masters champion Jon Rahm as the standout candidate given his long game prowess.
"With what he's done in the game recently, he's certainly got to be your favourite," Micheel said. "Anybody with a long game - defending champion Justin Thomas is another, he's going to be right there after what he did last year."
The field is the strongest of all the majors. The PGA of America has ensured that all of the top 100 players bar the injured Will Zalatoris will be competing, including 18 golfers who play on the breakaway LIV Tour.
And while the odds suggest one of the big guns emerging triumphant, what if it is an unheralded first-time winner who departs with the Wanamaker trophy? They might do well to note Micheel's subsequent experiences.
"The trophy and what it meant is still with me and hangs over me," he said. "As much pride as I have in the trophy and what the PGA of America represents, I struggle with the fact that I just wasn't able to eclipse that.
"And how do you upstage an event like I won and the way that I won? I think that's what I really battled.
"I think winning a major changed my expectations to a degree that it almost derailed my career. Winning a major as my first win proved to be so difficult, I just couldn't get over the hump again."
Nevertheless, his name is etched forever on one of golf's most prestigious trophies. He could have blown the opportunity, but he did the exact opposite.
That is why, two decades later, we still recall Micheel's spectacular success.