(CNN) -- Heath Slocum holed a 20-foot par putt on the final hole to deny a clutch of golf's elite the chance of a playoff at The Barclays and win the first of the PGA Tour's FedEx playoff series.
Slocum was claiming his third victory on the PGA Tour in the United States.
Slocum held off world number one Tiger Woods and three-time major winners Ernie Els of South Africa and Ireland's Padraig Harrington as well as Steve Stricker, who is second on the FedEx Cup points list.
United States star Slocum shot a four-under 67 in Sunday's final round at Liberty National in New Jersey for a nine-under total of 275.
Woods and Harrington also came out of the chasing pack to card 67s, while Els shot a superb five-under 66 and Stricker carded 69.
The illustrious quartet shared second on eight-under 276.
The unlikely victory has lifted Slocum to third on the FedEx Cup points list to third behind Woods and Stricker.
Slocum, who pocketed $1.35 million for his third PGA Tour victory, was not even certain he would be included in the field for the tournament.
"I was sweating it out last week not knowing if I'd even be here. I found out late Sunday and I came in with the attitude that I've got nothing to lose and I'll let it hang out and play the best I can," he told reporters.
United States pair Paul Goydos and Steve Marino had shared the lead on eight-under overnight, but both fell away dramatically.
Goydos carded a 75 to tie for ninth on 279, while Marino fared even worse with a 77 to be back in a tie for 15th.
Woods, who started the day four-under, bogeyed the fourth, but then made three birdies in four holes to move strongly into contention.
Further birdies at the 14th and 16th saw him improve to eight-under, but he wasted birdie opportunities on the 17th from 20-feet and on the last from just seven-feet to make further progress.
The miss on the final hole was uncharacteristic and Woods said his putting had cost him victory.
"I hit the ball well all week and to putt as poorly as I did all week and still have a chance on the last hole, says something about my ball-striking. Unfortunately I didn't make enough putts on these greens all week," he said.
The top 100 in the FedEx points list now qualify for the Deutsche Bank Championship which starts on Thursday, the second of the playoff events.