(CNN) -- Francesco and Edoardo Molinari became the first brothers to win golf's World Cup as they lifted Italy to a single stroke victory over long-time leaders Ireland and Sweden at Mission Hills on Sunday.
It was also the the first time Italy had lifted the prestigious team competition and came after an intense final day battle in China.
The Molinari brothers began the final round alternate shot foursomes just one shot behind overnight leaders Ireland and took charge with three straight birdies on the back nine.
But it needed a par-saving bunker shot from Francesco to three feet on the final hole to clinch victory.
Edoardo, winner of the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan last week, duly holed the putt for a four-under 68 and a 29-under total of 259 at the $6.5 million tournament.
"It was a very sweet feeling after holing the putt," Edoardo told gathered reporters.
Irish pair Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, who had set the pace on the first day with a blistering 14-under 58 in fourball play, were left to rue a slow start as they dropped a shot on the third.
They hit back with a run of four birdies, but dropped a shot on the par-three 8th and a further bogey on the 10th, where McIlroy missed from just two feet proved costly.
McDowell almost holed a birdie on the last to force a playoff but it came up just short.
By contrast, consistent Sweden pair Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson did not drop a shot until the eighth on the final day.
The defending champions wound up with a 69 to tie Ireland for second.
England pairing Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher charged up the leaderboard on the final day with a 64 to finish three shots back in fourth.
Japan ended a further four shots back on a total of 22 under, one clear of Australia.
Twenty eight teams contested the tournament on the Jose-Maria Olazabal course in southern China.