Adam Scott put on a final round masterclass to complete a resounding four-shot victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in Ohio.
The Australian, who had been at the head of the field after shooting a brilliant 62 in the first round, completed his wire-to-wire victory with a joint best-of-the-day five-under 65.
Aided by new caddie Steve Williams - the man who helped Tiger Woods win an amazing seven times in nine visits at this same venue - Scott's supreme ball-striking, clever course management and solid putting proved a devastating mix.
A birdie at the last helped him finish four clear of England's Luke Donald, who ended in a tie for second place alongside Rickie Fowler after they both carded rounds of 66.
Scott was caught by fellow Australian Jason Day and then by Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa on three separate occasions in Sunday's final round, but responded each time.
The 31-year-old birdied the long second, then matched Ishikawa's birdie on the 10th after starting the back nine with a one-shot lead.
Scott opened up a two-shot gap by chipping in from 15 feet at the short 12th and increased his stranglehold with another birdie at 14 to pull further clear.
With Donald and Fowler both making birdie at 18 to set the clubhouse target at 13-under, Scott just needed to avoid any late disasters over the closing three holes.
His wedge over water at 16 was a little close for comfort but a par there and another at 17 left him with a three-shot lead playing the last.
A 3-wood straight down the middle and a towering approach set him up to ice the cake and he did just that by rolling in his birdie putt to complete a convincing four-shot win.
Ishikawa's bogey at 18 saw him slip back to tied fourth alongside Day while US Open champion Rory McIlroy gave himself an ideal send-off for next week's US PGA Championship in Atlanta by carding a closing 67 to finish tied sixth.
Lee Westwood also made sure he left Akron in high spirits after a 65 which elevated him up to tied ninth.
Asked what help Williams was to him, Scott smiled and said: "Around this place, are you kidding me? He knows it better than anyone and I've really enjoyed this week with Steve.
"It was a good round. I stayed so patient and picked my moments.
"I'm really stoked. To win here in a World Golf Championship is huge.''
Williams, meanwhile, dropped a bombshell by saying the victory was the best of his life - an eye-popping comment given all the success and major wins he enjoyed with Woods.
Woods, meanwhile, came joint 37th in his first event after 12 weeks out injured.
A hat-trick of birdies from the 15th put a gloss on what was a real up and down day and week for the former world number one.
At least a closing 70 for one over was a distinct improvement on last year - 78th out of 80 - but it was still something of a disappointment after an opening 68 had put him inside the top 20.
Woods said: "I got off to such a great start (two birdies in the first five), then absolutely lost it - a couple left, a couple right - and then got it back at the end.
"It's one of those things where I'm still getting a feel for it and keep falling back into my old patterns - old grip, old swing plane. I was fighting it a bit.
"Obviously I don't have a lot of time (before the PGA starts on Thursday). It's just a matter of getting out there. I need to do the reps on the range."
Woods could take comfort from some of the players he beat in his first event for 12 weeks.
They included great rival Phil Mickelson after he double-bogeyed the last for a 72 and three over aggregate, while Paul Casey was two over, Padraig Harrington six over, Graeme McDowell nine over and both Open champion Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter 12 over.