Bryson DeChambeau claimed his second PGA Tour title after winning the Memorial Tournament following a play-off at Muirfield Village.
DeChambeau, who won last year’s John Deere Classic, looked to have blown his chance after three-putting the 18th as his fourth-round lead was wiped out by Byeong Hun An and Kyle Stanley in the closing stages.
That saw the trio all finish on 15 under and set up a three-way play-off.
Stanley’s bogey five at the first extra hole saw his challenge come to an end, with pars from DeChambeau and An sending them down the 18th for a third successive time.
On that occasion it was overnight leader DeChambeau who held his nerve to hole a 12-foot birdie putt and clinch the title ahead of a star-studded field.
The 24-year-old Californian was congratulated by tournament host Jack Nicklaus following the win and he told Sky Sports: “I feel real honour to be the champion this year.
“He (Nicklaus) puts on an amazing event. I played here a couple of years ago and was fortunate enough to get a sponsor’s invite from him, so I’m forever in his debt.”
DeChambeau did concede, though, that he had not been at his best, saying: “I just wasn’t comfortable all day for some reason. I was fortunate enough to scrap around the golf course and get it done this week.”
Patrick Cantlay was fourth on 14 under, just ahead of Peter Uihlein, whose six-under-par 66 was only eclipsed by Louis Oosthuizen’s 65.
England’s Justin Rose (70) had to settle for joint sixth on 12 under, one shot ahead of an illustrious group that included Dustin Johnson (67), Justin Thomas (68), Rickie Fowler (68) and Rory McIlroy (69).
Tiger Woods finished on nine under after signing off with a level-par 72.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari came up agonisingly short in his bid for back-to-back wins and a third Italian Open crown as Thorbjorn Olesen held his nerve to claim the fifth European Tour title of his career.
Olesen carded a closing 64 at Gardagolf to finish 22 under par, a shot ahead of home favourite Molinari, who had won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week.
The two players had been tied for the lead with two holes remaining, but Molinari dropped just his second shot of the week on the 17th and Olesen birdied the same hole in the group behind to take a two-shot lead.
Molinari refused to throw in the towel and holed a curling birdie putt on the last from 40 feet to complete a 65 and pile on the pressure, but Olesen got up and down from a greenside bunker for par to secure the first prize of £874,000 in the second Rolex Series event of 2018.
England’s Lee Slattery finished alone in third after a closing 67, despite having to get a replacement caddie after 13 holes after Max Cunningham signalled he could no longer continue due to a pelvic injury.
Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello was fourth on 18 under with Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Andy Sullivan a shot further back in a tie for fifth.
Rory McIlroy boosted hopes of a second US PGA Tour victory this season with a sizzling eight-under par 64 in the third round of the Memorial tournament on Saturday.
The effort was McIlroy’s lowest score since a final-round 64 en route to victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando in March, when the Northern Ireland star ended an 18-month US tour victory drought.
McIlroy will still have work to do on Sunday. Starting the third round at even par, he leap-frogged 64 places.
But it was a marked turnaround after a day when McIlroy looked to be heading home early after scores of 74 and 70.
Having squeezed into the weekend, the four-time major winner grabbed his opportunity with both hands, eagling the fifth hole with a 38-foot bunker shot and adding six birdies – including three in a row from the 11th hole.
“Honestly, I am just glad to be here and just get a couple more rounds before going to the US Open as it was touch-and-go whether or not if I would make the cut,” he said.
“When I finished my second round I thought even par was easily going to get in but then once the guys went back out after the rain delay it seemed like the conditions were very benign and guys couldn’t stop making birdies.
“So, it was a bit of an edgy late afternoon, early evening but it was nice to be here for the weekend.”
The Memorial is McIlroy’s last tournament before the US Open tees off at Shinnecock Hills on New York’s Long Island on June 14.
He said he has some things to iron out before the year’s second major.
“Over the last few weeks I’ve played rounds of golf like this, but I’ve also played rounds of golf where it’s been pretty average,” he said. “The good’s very good and the bad — I need to get that a little bit better.
“If I could produce four days of golf at Shinnecock like I did today, then, yeah, I’m ready. But I’ve got a little bit of work to do just to get a bit more consistency in there.”