Phil Mickelson won his third Masters title, shooting a 5-under 67 Sunday to pull away for a three-stroke win over England's Lee Westwood.
Already a fan favorite and now the sentimental pick with his wife and mother battling breast cancer, Mickelson rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the signature 12th hole. He then managed a stunning shot off the pine straw and around a tree to set up another birdie at the next hole.
Mickelson wrapped it up with yet another birdie at the 18th, then headed to the side of the green to hug wife Amy.
Tiger Woods, who struggled all day with a shaky swing off the tee and never made a serious push for the lead, finished tied with K.J. Choi for fourth, five strokes behind Mickelson.
England's Westwood took second and Anthony Kim finished third - three and four strokes back respectively.
Westwood, Mickelson's playing partner in the final group, led for 54-holes. He was third in the last two majors, the British Open and PGA Championship.
"Phil, being the champ he is, just hit some great shots down the stretch," Westwood said. "He's been through hard times recently. He deserves a break or two."
Anthony Kim finished with a 7-under 65 that sent him to the clubhouse clinging to the hope that Mickelson would falter, but Lefty wasn't going to throw this lead away. Not after all his family went through the past year as his wife battled breast cancer
It was a striking contrast to the storyline coming into this year's Masters: the downfall of Tiger Woods after revelations that he had cheated on his wife with numerous mistresses.
Elin Woods did not show up at Augusta National, but Amy Mickelson was there, standing behind the green as her husband walked up to finish off the fourth major title of his career.
"That's not what I wanted," Woods said of his play Sunday - his first tour appearance in five months since a sex scandal severely damaged his reputation. "I wanted to win this tournament. As the week went along, I kept hitting the ball worse. It was not very good."
His big highlight was holing out from the seventh fairway for an eagle, and he had another eagle at the 15th, but an inexplicable three-putt bogey from about 6 feet at the 14th doomed his chances.
"I only enter events to win," Woods said. "I didn't hit the ball good enough and made too many mistakes around the green. As a result, I'm not there."
Woods wasn't the only one to feel Augusta's bite. Fifty-year-old Fred Couples dumped a shot in the water at the 12th, leading to a double-bogey that stifled his bid to become golf's oldest major champion. Choi looked steadier than anyone until two straight bogeys knocked him from a share of the lead to four shots behind.
Kim started the day seven shots behind before surging up the board, climbing within a shot of the lead with an eagle at 15 and a birdie at 16. After closing with two pars, all he could do was watch Mickelson finish out his round in the last group of the day.
Mickelson started with seven straight pars, his best chance at birdie knocked off line when his putt at the par-5 second struck a pollen pod that fluttered into the line of his ball just before he drew back his club. He didn't notice it until it was too late, and his ball actually hopped into the air and skidded wide of the cup.
Mickelson finally made a birdie at the par-5 eighth, then scrambled mightily to keep his score right where it was. He drove into the trees at both the ninth and 10th holes, but managed to get back in the fairway and pull off nifty wedge shots that set up short par putts.
The birdie at No. 12 - the same spot where he dumped a ball in the water to ruin his hopes a year ago - gave him the outright lead. Another errant drive at the next tee left him with a pine tree in his face. Instead of playing it safe, he swung hard and went right around it, the ball clearing the creek in front of the green and dropping down about 4 feet from the cup.
Mickelson squandered the chance to really give himself some breathing room, missing the eagle putt, but the birdie left him two shots clear of the field for the first time.
More on Tiger Woods and the Masters:
The Rise, Fall and Rise of Tiger
Masters Day 3: Tiger Stays in Hunt
Tiger's Play Keeps Raising Eyebrows
Return of Tiger: CBSNews.com Complete Coverage
CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman Follows Tiger
Track Tiger's Masters Scorecard