It's a year ago since Jordan Brown stunned the snooker world at Celtic Manor to land his magnificent, maiden ranking-event title.
He's back this week at the BetVictor Welsh Open as defending champion and says the man he beat in that life-changing final - Ronnie O'Sullivan - is now someone he regards as a close friend.
But that's only since clearing the air in a frank discussion with the Rocket off the table.
The six-time world champion O'Sullivan has never been afraid to speak his mind and has earned a reputation for making disparaging comments about his fellow professionals.
O'Sullivan famously called players outside the world's elite "numpties" and also claimed he'd have to lose an arm to be beaten by players at the bottom end of the ranking list.
These comments hurt Brown but he used it as motivation to beat O'Sullivan 9-8 in last year's final while ranked 81 in the world.
"Obviously, I had my opinions of him before I played him in the final - I didn't like those comments," Brown said.
"I remember watching him make those comments about players outside the top 50 and thinking 'he's talking about me there'.
"I think it was very disrespectful, to be honest, and that did ride me up and I wasn't too happy but, to cut a long story short, I was just glad that I proved him wrong in the end."
Following Brown's win, he met with O'Sullivan and told him exactly how he felt about his comments.
"We met up for lunch one time and I told him directly. We were just having a conversation for 40 minutes and I said 'Look, I wasn't happy about what you said,' and he just said 'great - I'm happy - I've done my job' sort of thing, and we just ended up having a good laugh about it.
"It was sort of half-joking in a way - the way he said it sounds disrespectful but what he really meant to do was just to give a few players a kick up the backside because they're capable of so much more, and I knew I was capable of so much more, so - in a way - I'm thankful that he said that.
"We've become good friends ever since and it's obviously changed my opinions of him - I've got to know him away from the table and he's a really down-to-earth guy."
Handling the expectation
Jordan's win was lifechanging. It meant he had fulfilled a dream to win his first-ever title on the table and off the table he used his £70,000 prize money to buy a house and car.
But as with any great high, increased expectations followed not least from himself. Initially, he couldn't quite cope with the demands and suffered first round defeats in the next three events of the season.
"It was massively overwhelming - it's something that I wouldn't say never expected to happen, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. It just all hit me like a tonne of bricks," explained the 34-year old.
"I didn't quite know how to deal with it and I think that showed in some of my performances.
"I had so many interviews and calls. People from TV and radio, they were all after me and I think if I could have done things differently, maybe I would have. Maybe I would have concentrated more on preparing for the season ahead, but hindsight's a wonderful thing."
Back towards his best
The Antrim Ferrari - as he has been nicknamed by his practice partner Mark Allen - has now rediscovered his form with recent runs to the last 16 of the UK Championship and last week's BetVictor European Masters which included a 5-3 win against world number one Mark Selby.
He puts his improved form down to working with a mind coach called AP O'Neill since November who has also transformed the fortunes of professional Jimmy Robertson.
"Snooker's such a mental game. In my opinion, it's about 90 per cent mental (ability) and so it's very important to get that right," he said. "I was a bit all over the place - just with the expectation and putting pressure on myself because I really wanted to push on after my win. I was thinking all the wrong things out there so I'm putting that right now - thankfully - and it seems to be working.
"I feel like my game is definitely in good shape, and I know I'm not too far away from another big performance again."
Proud to defend
With Brown's hangover from the win now safely in the past, he returns to Newport and can look forward to walking out as defending champion, even though he's a 66/1 outsider to lift the trophy again.
"It's been something I've been looking forward to for quite a while now," he said. "I knew that this event was gonna be coming up thick and fast and it's gonna be new territory for me - I've never experienced that before, but I'm really looking forward to it and can't wait to go back to the Celtic Manor.
"I'll be getting the goosebumps when I'm driving up that hill and relive the memories with what happened last year."
Brown begins his BetVictor Welsh Open campaign on Monday against Mitchell Mann.