Billy Horschel defeated fellow American Scottie Scheffler 2 & 1 to win the WGC Matchplay in Austin, Texas.
Scheffler won the second hole but Horschel helped win the fifth and was two ahead by the ninth.
An increasingly disjointed game saw all eight holes on the back nine halved with Horschel parring 17th to win.
European Ryder Cup prospect Victor Perez, beaten by Horschel in the semifinals, was beaten 2 and 1 by Matt Kuchar in the match to decide who finished third.
American Kuchar, winner of that event in 2013 and a finalist in 2019, won four of five holes from the eighth to four but Perez fought back to win the next two with birdies.
However, the game ended on the 17th when Perez was unable to pierce a 25-foot birdie putt after Kuchar was par.
Despite Sunday’s two losses, it was a great week for the Frenchman who cemented his reputation as a solid matchplay golfer and he also collected 600 Ryder Cup points to finish fourth.
The final was a tense and long affair between two Americans who were also trying to find their way into the Ryder Cup calculation.
Scheffler’s birdie to win the second turned out to be the only hole he would win as he worked his way around a course he knows so well after spending four years at the University of Texas in Austin.
The 24-year-old, looking for his first PGA Tour win, had beaten European Ryder Cup players Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm in Saturday’s round of 16, but struggled to regain that form during of Sunday’s final.
He was often rebellious off the tee and only hit five of the first 13 greens in regulation.
As the game slowed down, the errors increased. Scheffler found the water in par five 12th, but Horschel failed to take advantage of it, hitting his ball into a green side bunker 100 yards as they halved the bogey six hole.
Scheffler got free drops after hitting his tee shots behind the spectator stands at the 13th and 15th holes and they also cut 16th in par five in half after both slicing their practices in the rough.
The 17th par three turned out to be the last hole. Both players found the green and after Horschel missed his 24-foot putt, Scheffler had an 11-footer to take the hole and win the game last. But he failed to hand the title back to Horschel after four hours of play
“It was one of those days when I didn’t play very well,” conceded the 34-year-old American. “I would have liked to have it but I crushed it.”
Scheffler advances from slow semi-final
The slow play started in the semifinals with Scheffler overtaking Kuchar in a frosty game that lasted four hours and 15 minutes.
He was two up after 11 holes but found water on the 12th and 13th holes to allow Kuchar to level the game.
Scheffler landed a 10-foot birdie putt to win the 17th and a par was enough to close a 1UP win on the 18th as Kuchar missed a 10-foot birdie attempt that would have resulted in sudden death in the game.
Horschel and Perez won three holes each in the first seven of their match as they reached the square turn.
However, the Frenchman bogeyed the 10th, 11th and 14th holes to go down three and although he won the 15th with a birdie, another bogey on the 16th gave Horschel a 3 & 2 victory.