Golfing superstar Tiger Woods has won the U.S. Masters Tournament -- the first major championship in professional golf's annual "grand slam" series -- for a fourth time.

Bad weather buffeted the tournament's early rounds, but conditions (in Augusta, Georgia) were perfect for Sunday's fourth and final round, a dramatic duel between Woods and fellow American Chris DiMarco. Woods came up with a spectacular chip shot -- he called it the best of his career -- on the 16th hole, and he and DiMarco finished the tournament in a tie at (276 strokes -- ) 12 under par.

That set up a (sudden-death) playoff, which Woods won on the first hole with a four-and-one-half-meter birdie putt.

Woods has dominated professional golf since he joined the tour in 1996, but this was his first major-tournament victory since 2002. He now has nine major titles -- half the record total of 18 majors that his boyhood idol, Jack Nicklaus, won in a 25-year span.

The 29-year-old Woods dedicated his Masters victory to his father, who is seriously ill with cancer.