By Brian Keogh
Padraig Harrington tied for fifth as Phil Mickelson survived a dramatic back-nine collapse to win the HSBC Champions in sudden-death.
Five shots ahead at one stage, Mickelson dropped six shots in eight holes to hand England's Ross Fisher a one-shot lead playing the last in Shanghai.
But Fisher ran up a double bogey seven to Mickelson's watery six and they fell back to 10 under par with Lee Westwood, who came home in 30 with six birdies in seven holes for a 67.
All three parred the par-five 18th when the first time around before Micklson chipped dead in three to set up a winning birdie worth €833,300.
The left-hander was relieved to win just his second overseas tournament since the 1993 Tournoi Perrier Paris title on the European Challenge Tour.
Mickelson said: "I had a huge lead early in the round, but I hit some horrible shots. I had six penalty strokes in the final round, which made it a difficult day.
"But I kept fighting, and it's a funny old game golf, you never know what's going to happen.
"I never thought after hitting the water I had a chance, but it happened and I'm very thankful to be the recipient of this year's championship trophy.
"It feels amazing I don't know how it happened. The whole day was a whirlwind, but what a fun day and what a fun opportunity to come and play here in China."
American Kevin Stadler finished fourth on nine under with Open champion Harrington just two shots outside the play-off on eight under after a closing 71.
Tied for fifth with Vijay Singh, Harrington headed to Japan in a good mood ahead of his defence of the €1.2 million Dunlop Phoenix tournament this week.
Harrington said: "For myself, I am happy enough to finish on eight under par. Obviously, I could have got to 10 under par this week.
"But I am not disappointed because 13 or 14 should have been the winning score, not 10. So I can't complain.
"The tournament was good. The golf course was tough, firmed up and the greens speeded up a bit. With tougher pin positions, it made it a bit of a battle out there."
Fisher and Westwood won €299,893 to go joint top of the European Tour Order of Merit and earn massive Ryder Cup points.
But both men missed chances to climb even higher in the race to Valhalla with Westwood still trailing No 1 Justin Rose.
Fisher has the 10th automatic spot from the European Points list, narrowly ahead of 11th ranked Harrington.
Westwood said: "I didn't imagine, even when I had one hole to play, that I would ever be in the play-off, so I'm not that disappointed.
"I didn't think 10 under would be quite enough. I would have liked to have holed the one on the last and seen what that would have done, but I'm pleased with 10-under because it didn't look like that after nine holes."
Defending champion Yang Yong-eun was disqualified before the final round after a spectator spotted the Korean had signed for a wrong score on Saturday.
It was discovered he had signed for a bogey four at the 12th when he had actually scored a double-bogey five.
He also signed for a par at the 17th, when he had actually shot a birdie two.
After going from tied fifth to nowhere, Yang said: "I'm shocked - it's unbelievable.
"At the end of the day though, it's my own fault for not checking the scores. I checked the total scores on the back nine and I assumed that everything was all right."