Chris DiMarco kept his cool to clinch a dramatic sixth Presidents Cup for the US over the Internationals in Virginia.
The teams were 11-11 at the start of the final day of 12 singles matches, but six wins from the first eight games helped give the US a 17-15 lead.
That guaranteed the hosts at least a share of the Cup but DiMarco sealed the trophy with a 15-foot birdie putt at 18 for a one-up win over Stuart Appleby.
Phil Mickelson and Angel Cabrera's game was then halved for an 18½-15½ result.
Masters runner-up DiMarco was delighted to hand Jack Nicklaus, who skippered the US side for the third and final time, a winning send-off.
"Every piece of my body was shaking," he said.
"My caddie (Pat O'Bryan) says before I hit the putt, 'this is the moment you've waited for your whole life, so go ahead and do it'. And you know, I did.
"It was probably the most pressure I have felt and this is a big win for us.
"There's been a lot of talk that this team had no camaraderie but we care a lot and desperately wanted to win for Jack and to do that is fantastic."
Nicklaus said he was overjoyed to bow out on a winning note and felt the US really deserved their change of fortune after losing the last two Ryder Cups and drawing the last Presidents Cup in 2003.
"As far as being something special, I may never captain another team, I may never play another round of golf, and if I end my career this way, it's a pretty good way to end it," Nicklaus said.
"American golf hasn't won in international competition for a few years and they proved they are pretty good.
"Five years is a pretty good drought for a bunch of pretty darned good players."
It was a bitter finish for Appleby, who fought back to take the lead on the 16th, only to lose the final two holes.
But the Australian felt Gary Player's Internationals showed America will have their work cut out to hold on to the Cup.
"We kept them close on the Americans' home soil," Appleby said. "There's no doubt in the future we can take this thing out."
Player added: "Any time you have two Presidents Cups in a row go to the last green, golf is the winner. It was absolutely unbelievable.
"Disappointing to lose but a great day for golf. I don't think there were winners and losers. There was quite a vibe. The excitement was quite unbelievable.
"Everybody was on edge. Everybody was enjoying it. All in all, mission accomplished."
The US victory was achieved despite a poor Sunday performance from Tiger Woods, beaten two and one by South African Retief Goosen.
Woods, suffering back pain, hit some terrible drives way right as he lost for the first time in the Cup singles, while Goosen used a hot putter to get the job done, twice holing putts from outside 45 feet.
But Fred Couples stepped up to boost the US cause with a gritty one-hole win over Vijay Singh.
Couples struggled with his putter most of the day, before making amends at the last, where he drained a 20-footer to edge his match.
Justin Leonard, David Toms, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk and Davis Love III also won their singles for the American team.