The background: After being tied for the lead at the half-way stage, Nick Faldo’s 77 – in a disrupted third round that continued into Sunday morning – pushed him back into a tie for 9th.
Faldo, who had come through the other side of a gruelling reconstruction of his swing with David Leadbetter, was on the hunt for his second Major title following Open glory in 1987.
Scott Hoch, who had always been in the frame following rounds of 69 and 74, lay a shot adrift of Ben Crenshaw – at -3 – as the final round got under way.
The scene: Six different players had at least a share of the lead during a thrilling final round.
Faldo, who had been five back at the start of the day, began in imperious fashion – picking up birdies on four of the first seven holes on his way to an outward 31.
On the 11th, the American Mike Reid chipped into take charge on his own but a double bogey on 15 ended his challenge.
Seve Ballesteros, just one back standing on the 16th, found the water but Greg Norman produced a remarkable run of birdies on 13, 15, 16 and 17, only to bogey the last and miss the eventual play-off by a stroke.
Faldo’s eight birdies and one bogey, at 11, set the clubhouse target at -5. Hoch, with victory in sight, bogeyed 17 and parred the last to tie. Crenshaw missed a 12-foot putt to join them.
The moment: At the first hole of sudden death, the 10th, Faldo hit the bunker with his approach.
After Hoch found the centre of the green and lagged his birdie putt up to two feet, a struggling Faldo needed a 15-footer for par.
He missed, but made the bogey. For the third time, Hoch had a putt for a green jacket but, incredibly, missed it.
Faldo had bogeyed the 11th every time he played it in 89 but, in the fading light, he claimed a memorable triumph when sinking a 25-foot putt for birdie.