Former world number one Adam Scott held a narrow advantage as the Honda Classic headed for a tense finish at PGA National on Sunday.
Playing together for the second day running, Scott and Sergio Garcia began the final round tied for the lead on nine under par and seemingly set for a head-to-head battle, with nearest challenger Blayne Barber four shots adrift.
And it was Scott who struck the early blows with birdies on the first and fifth as he looked to become the first player since 2009 to win on the PGA Tour after carding a quadruple bogey.
The Australian had enjoyed a three-shot lead before finding water twice on the par-three 15th in the third round to run up a seven, although a birdie on the 17th helped repair some of the damage.
Garcia had bogeyed the 17th before a birdie on the 18th took the good friends into the last day tied at the top of the leaderboard, but the Spaniard had to settle for nine straight pars on the front nine in the final round.
However, with Scott dropping a shot on the ninth after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker, Garcia found himself just one shot behind heading into the back nine, home to the feared, water-laden stretch of holes known as the "Bear Trap."
Barber was two shots further back after three birdies and a bogey on the front nine took him to seven under, with Vijay Singh and Justin Thomas another two shots back.
Scott also bogeyed the 10th after a wayward drive and a clumsy chip onto the green, but Garcia's share of the lead lasted just a few minutes as he missed from two feet for par on the 11th after his approach only cleared the water by a few yards.
And Scott soon restored the two-shot lead he had enjoyed earlier in the day, a superb approach from a fairway bunker on the 12th leaving the former Masters champion with a tap-in birdie.