Harris English had gone more than seven years without winning on the PGA Tour and he didn't mind going one extra hole to win the Tournament of Champions.
He missed a 10-foot eagle putt in regulation on the par-5 18th hole at Kapalua that would have sealed the win but his four-under 69 forced a playoff with Joaquin Niemann.
But English made no mistake with his second chance at closing it out on the same hole about half an hour later, holing a six-foot birdie putt.
Niemann, who closed with a nine-under 64, pulled his approach enough to tumble down the steep, shaggy hill.
The Chilean's full swing from thick grass got him to the fringe, but he missed his birdie putt.
English capped off his remarkable turnaround at a tournament he ordinarily wouldn't be allowed to play.
The Tournament of Champions is for winners only from the previous year but the field was expanded to include anyone who reached the Tour Championship because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the PGA Tour for three months.
The fact English made it to the Tour Championship was proof of turning around his game.
He ended the previous season without a full card and mired in a slump that dropped him to No.369 in the world.
He did everything last year but win, and he took care of that in the first event of the new year.
Now the 31-year-old from Georgia is among the top 20 in the world, and guaranteed a return to Kapalua next year.
Niemann had eight birdies through 14 holes and matched the low score of the tournament.
His regret might be a six-foot birdie putt he missed in regulation.
English won for the third time in his career and his first since the end of 2013, his second victory of that year.
A closing 66 left Justin Thomas in third at 24-under par while Ryan Palmer, the third-round co-leader with English, carded a 71 to finish fourth.
World No.1 Dustin Johnson, in his first start since winning the Masters on November 15, shot 69 and tied for 11th, ending his streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes dating back to the first week in August.
Adam Scott was best of the Australians with his 70 on Sunday leaving him in a share of 21st at 15-under while Marc Leishman (69) and Cameron Smith (72) were a shot further back.