Tiger Woods earned the winning point as the United States beat the International team 19-15 to clinch the Presidents Cup in Melbourne.
Woods beat Australian Aaron Baddeley 4&3 to give the US the 18 points they needed to retain the Cup.
The US led 13-9 going into the singles and lost the first four matches, but on a tense afternoon Woods sealed victory from the penultimate pair.
"It feels good," said Woods. "I hoped it wouldn't come down to my point."
The former world number one, who was a controversial wildcard pick after injuries and a serious slump in form, credited team-mate Steve Stricker for a putting tip.
"I played well all week, but unfortunately didn't make any putts in the first four matches," said Woods, who earned two points out of a possible five. "Today was a different deal - they poured right in."
US captain Fred Couples, celebrating his second win in charge, said: "For Tiger to get the winning point makes us feel very good as a team.
"I don't think I've ever been vindicated in golf, but I feel like I know what I'm doing. When I picked Tiger a month early, he worked six to eight hours a day on his game.
"When a guy looks you in the eye and says: 'Don't worry about me, I'll be right', it brings a smile to your face, especially when it's Tiger.
"I got frustrated a bit (by the attacks on his selection) because I felt I was picking the greatest player I've ever seen play.
"I heard he was the Tiger of old today and Aaron Baddeley said it was phenomenal."
The International team, who last won the Presidents Cup in 1998, also at Royal Melbourne, made a fast start on a sunny day in Victoria.
Wins for KT Kim, Charl Schwartzel, Ryo Ishikawa and Geoff Ogilvy against Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Bill Haas respectively gave them hope.
Adam Scott kept the Internationals in the hunt with a 2&1 win over the previously unbeaten Phil Mickelson, while Nick Watney defeated KJ Choi 3&2.
But Jim Furyk maintained his 100% record with a 4&3 victory over Ernie Els to take the US to the brink before Woods sealed victory.
In the two games still going, South Africa's Retief Goosen beat Matt Kuchar and Stricker overcame YE Yang to widen the gap to four points again.
International team captain Greg Norman said: "The guys stepped up to the plate, very, very proud of them for doing that.
"My team can hold their heads up extremely high. We'll take a lot out of this tournament."