(CNN) -- Germany's Martin Kaymer beat Bubba Watson after a three-hole playoff to win the 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and claim his first major title.
Dustin Johnson should have joined Kaymer and fellow American Watson in the playoff but was controversially penalized two-shots for an infringement on the final hole in regulation play.
Johnson initially finished on 11-under 277 but was ruled to have grounded his club in a bunker before playing his second shot to the 18th green and his five became a triple bogey seven, putting him back to nine-under.
Watson initially made the running in the playoff as he made a birdie at the first extra hole, but Kaymer hit back with a birdie of his own on the next.
The 18th proved the decider and Watson found the water with his approach to the green and could only make a double bogey.
Kaymer was also in trouble, but made a two-foot bogey putt to clinch victory after a dramatic final day in Wisconsin.
"I hope it is one of many majors I win in my career. It's spectacular," the 25-year-old told gathered reporters.
Long recognized as a star of the future, Kaymer becomes the second German after Bernhard Langer to win a golfing major.
He is also the third first-time major winner this season after U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
Phil Mickelson, who won the first of the season at the U.S. Masters made a last day charge, but his five-under 67 left him in a tie for 12th.
It means Tiger Woods remains as world number one, but he finished well off the pace after a fine round one-over 73, still searching for the first win of his truncated season.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and another American Zach Johnson shared third, both having their chances to claim victory, but missing the playoff by one shot.
Overnight leader Nick Watney lost his three shot lead on the first hole and carded a sorry nine-under 81 to slip into a tie for 17th.
But it was hard not to feel sorry for Johnson, who had blown a three-shot final round lead at the U.S. Open in search of his first major title.
A superb birdie two on the short 17th had left him needing a par four on the final hole to emerge on top after a fluctuating final day.
But his tee shot found a sandy lie in an area trampled by spectators, one of many such areas at Whistling Straits.
Johnson did not believe it constituted a regular bunker and illegally placed his club face on the ground before making his shot.
After he finished his round with a bogey five, officials examined television footage of the incident and handed down the penalty.
"It never crossed my mind I was in a sandtrap," said Johnson. "That was one situation where I should have looked at the rule sheet a little harder."
Whistling Straits, which has the look of a seaside links course, has nearly 1,000 sanded areas and under local rules all of them are designated as bunkers.
Johnson finished in a tie for fifth with compatriot Jason Dufner and Australian Steve Elkington.
China's Liang Wen-chong, who set the course record with a 64 on Saturday, shot a final round one-over 73 and finished in a tie for eighth.