Bubba Watson beats Tim Clark to WGC-HSBC Champions title
Watson holed a 20-foot putt for birdie at the first extra hole, securing his first World Golf Championships title, after he and Clark had headed back to the 18th tee having finished level at the top of the leaderboard on 11 under.
Yet the drama of the play-off at Sheshan International Golf Club paled in comparison to earlier events, as the eventual victor enjoyed a dramatic finish to his final round culminating in a holed bunker shot for eagle at 18.
Two-time Masters champion Watson led by one despite a dropped shot at 16 but then double-bogeyed the next hole to slip to nine under, one behind a quintet of players including Graeme McDowell, who had led after each of the first three rounds.
Watson then hit back with a spectacular three on the closing par-five and was joined on 11 under by Clark, with the final group still to play the last.
Martin Kaymer, Hiroshi Iwata and McDowell could all have secured their place in the play-off by birdieing 18, but the German found the water en route to a seven and his playing partners could only muster pars, meaning they finished alongside Rickie Fowler at 10 under.
That left Watson and Clark as the last men standing and it was to be the former who triumphed after getting up and down from the same greenside bunker he had holed out from earlier.
Reflecting on his first victory on foreign soil, a delighted Watson said: "I wanted to win outside the US. It's a World Golf Championship, this is a big one for me."
The American mixed five birdies with two bogeys in his first eight holes on Sunday before eventually signing for a final-round 70.
Clark finished strongly, picking up shots on three of the last five to shoot 69, but there was frustration for McDowell, who could only manage a solitary birdie in his 73.
Iwata (72) was also unable to break par, while Fowler matched Watson's 70 and Kaymer's late slip-up ensured he finished with a 73 that left him in a share of sixth at eight under.