Last Updated: 13/02/12 1:26pm
Tiger Woods secured his fourth Green Jacket thanks to one of the most remarkable shots in Masters history.
Leading Chris DiMarco by a shot with three holes to play, Woods nailed his eight-iron to the par three 16th long and left while DiMarco put his tee-shot to 18 feet to set up the distinct possibility of a two-shot swing.
Faced with a near impossible second shot, Woods' only hope was to aim way left of the pin, land his ball on a frighteningly fast slope and hope it would funnel close enough to the hole to give himself the chance of saving par.
He struck it perfectly. His chip from rough landed on the green, did a sharp right turn, trickled down towards the hole and after seeming to stop and peer into the cup the ball made one final revolution and dropped in for a sensational birdie two. Pure theatre!
DiMarco missed his own birdie try and remarkably Woods walked off the green not only with his lead intact but it extended to two shots.
It seemed all over but, against all odds, Woods bogeyed the final two holes to give DiMarco fresh hope and the two men went into a play-off.
There was to be no reprieve for DiMarco this time though as Woods rolled in a birdie putt at the first extra hole, the 18th, to clinch his first major since 2002's US Open.
DiMarco had been up with the pace from the start, shooting a first round 67 to lead by one from 2000 winner Vijay Singh and England's Luke Donald.
Tiger was seven back at that stage but jumped up to third place with a round two 66. DiMarco stayed hot though and a second successive 67 took him to 10-under and a four-shot halfway lead over Thomas Bjorn.
DiMarco stretched clear to 13-under by Saturday night but bad weather earlier in the tournament meant that he still had nine holes of his third round to play and 27 in all on Sunday.
Woods had started to chase him down on Saturday by moving to nine-under and when he returned on Sunday Tiger kept the birdie barrage going - he had seven in a row during his 65 - to finish 11-under and three clear of DiMarco whose stuttering 74 included two double bogeys.
The duel continued on Sunday with the tenacious DiMarco cutting the three-shot deficit to one by the 11th but Tiger's heroics on 16, despite the wobble on 17 and 18, eventually proved decisive.
The two finished a massive seven shots clear of Donald and Retief Goosen in third.
Tiger hit just 57.1% of Augusta's fairways (his second worst performance in the Masters' Driving Accuracy stats) as he looked for more distance off the tee (he was fourth for Driving Distance as opposed to 19th and 21st in the previous two years). But the rest of his game was in tip-tip shape as he ranked second in Greens In Regulation and first in Putting Average. He also played the par fours three shots better than anyone in the field (-5 for the week).
* Won in play-off
|Par 3 Contest Winner||Score|
|U.S. Open||Michael Campbell|
|The Open||Tiger Woods|