Cabrera is only the second South American to win a major
(US unless stated)
+5 Angel Cabrera (Arg)
+6 Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods
+7 Niclas Fasth (Swe)
+9 David Toms, Bubba Watson
+10 Nick Dougherty (Eng), Scott Verplank, Jerry Kelly
+11 Justin Rose (Eng), Paul Casey (Eng), Stephen Ames (Can)
+12 Lee Janzen, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, Aaron Baddeley (Aus)
Argentina's Angel Cabrera beat American duo Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods by one shot to win a thrilling US Open.
The powerful 37-year-old carded a one-under 69 to set a five-over-par target that first Furyk, then Woods failed to match.
Cabrera had a three-shot lead with three to play but bogeys at 16 and 17 opened the door for the chasing pack.
But Furyk then bogeyed 17 too and, for once, Woods was unable to summon up the grandstand finish he needed.
"I was just hoping they didn't make any birdies coming in," said Cabrera, the world number 44, after lifting the trophy.
"After yesterday, I knew today I had to play in par or better to have a chance.
Angel put the pressure on and Jim and I didn't get it done
"I feel great. It's a great moment for me. I can't believe it.
"I am taking this to my bed," he added, pulling the trophy close. "This is going to sleep with me."
Prior to this week, Cabrera had claimed six top-10 finishes in majors but none better than fourth. Now the European Tour member is the second Argentine to win one of golf's big prizes, emulating Roberto de Vicenzo's 1967 Open triumph at Hoylake.
Niclas Fasth, another European Tour player, held the clubhouse lead for about 15 minutes when he tapped in for birdie at 18 to get to seven over in the group ahead of Cabrera.
American David Toms fired his third 72 of the week to end on nine over, where he was joined by fellow "southerner" Bubba Watson, while England's Nick Dougherty finished in a group on 10 over with Americans Scott Verplank and Jerry Kelly. The 25-year-old Liverpudlian's prize is a place in next year's Masters as well as the US Open.
Dougherty's compatriots Paul Casey and Justin Rose, who started their final rounds with such high hopes of winning Britain's first US Open since 1970 and Europe's first major since 1999, never really got it going.
After a bogey at 17, Furyk could not find the birdie he needed at 18
Casey saw makeable birdie putts stay up at three of the first four holes and it seemed to rattle him. A run of four bogeys and a double from the 5th sent him plummeting down the leaderboard but he gathered himself to finish with two birdies for a 76 and an 11-over total.
Rose posted the same fourth-round score and 72-hole total but will be disappointed with his back nine. That said, a share of 10th place with Canadian Stephen Ames is no mean feat for these two young talents.
But the two Englishmen were far from being the only players to toil on another taxing day at this most difficult of venues. Once more the day's scoring average was almost five shots worse than par, and for the fourth day in a row only two men beat par.
That one of those should be Cabrera, the other being American Anthony Kim, says it all. Cabrera was also the only man to post two sub-par rounds.
Aaron Baddeley's hopes of becoming the second Australian to win this title in a row effectively ended with a shocking triple-bogey at the 1st. He kept plugging away but his 10-over 80, which included a double and five further bogeys, saw him slide to 12 over for the tournament and a share of 13th. A cruel result.
Ames was another to have his hopes raised then emphatically dashed. A triple-bogey at seven and a double at nine saw him fall out of the reckoning.
And it was like that all afternoon. At one stage there was a five-way tie for the lead but in truth it was impossible to keep up with all the comings and goings.
Nobody thought it was over until Woods could do no more
Cabrera, who led at the halfway stage, started his final round four off Baddeley's lead but while others struggled he started stringing birdies together - five in 12 holes from the 4th.
Mistakes at the short 16th and relatively easy 17th, however, could have let in Furyk or Woods, but the former bogeyed the 17th and could not find the birdie he needed at 18.
And the inspiration just was not there when Woods needed it. With birdies required he could only manage pars, seven of them in a row from the 12th. And too many of those were of the "great save" variety for a player of his usually immaculate standards.
"Angel played a beautiful round of golf," Woods said. "He put the pressure on and Jim and I didn't get it done.
"Finishing second is never fun. You play so hard, and it's just disappointing."
The world number one never stopped trying, though, and it was not until his long birdie effort at 18 missed that Cabrera could start celebrating.
If that had dropped, and nobody was betting against it happening, everybody would have been back on Monday for an 18-hole play-off that would surely have gone Woods's way.
But the putt stayed up, the popular Cabrera got the breakthrough win he has been promising for some time and golf's most famous maxim remained alive - Woods has won 12 major titles but none when he has had to come from behind to do it.