Martin Kaymer, who had set the pace at Sawgrass all week, overcame a double bogey after a 90-minute weather delay to win The Players at 13-under.
Kaymer, was at 15-under when play was suspended due to lightning in the area about 5:30 p.m. Play resumed at 7:12 p.m. despite a persistent rain.
The 29-year-old German had been practically flawless before the rain delay. He made birdies on every par 5 and did not have a bogey on his card.
When play resumed in the rain, Kaymer made double bogey on the 15th hole and was in trouble in the island-green 17th hole. His ball stopped a foot from going into the water. His chip was weak and came up 30 feet short. He made the par putt to stay one shot ahead, and then got up-and-down for par on the 18th.
It was the first win for Kaymer in 18 months.
Play was halted Sunday as Ponte Vedra's own Jim Furyk was lining up a 3-foot par putt on 18 for a 66 that would put him in the clubhouse at 12-under 276 and in second place.
Furyk said he had watched lightning on the horizon for the previous five minutes and was surprised play continued as long as it did.
The 2008 Players champion, Sergio Garcia, birdied 18 after the rain delay to finish third.
Newcomer Jordan Spieth, who started the day as co-leader and had a near-record run on the Stadium Course without a bogey, ended the day two over par and the tournament at 10-under, tied for third place with Justin Rose.
Kaymer, a former world No. 1 and major champion, nearly choked up when asked about winning on Mother's Day. His mother, Rina, died of cancer in 2008 shortly after Kaymer won the BMW International Open in Germany.
"My mother was always there to be affectionate and show us love," Kaymer said in an interview with NBC Sports. "When my mom passed away, that stopped. We had enough when we were younger. Mother's Day is always a nice day. I hope a lot of kids show their mothers we love them."
Interviewed on the 18th green, so dark that the clubhouse was glowing from the outdoor lights, Kaymer said brother Phillip sent him a text that morning which he described as "very emotional."