FARMINGTON — The third time was the charm for Joel Atson at the Piñon Hills Classic.
Atson, playing the event for the third time, defeated Luke Tanner on the first playoff hole to win the tournament on Sunday.
"It's pretty cool," said Atson, who is an assistant golf professional at San Juan Country club. "I had fun with it."
Tanner and Atson began the playoff on the 414-yard par 4 first hole after finishing the 36-hole tournament tied at 1-under 143.
Atson caught a lucky break in the playoff after his tee shot ricocheted off a rock and back into the fairway.
"This morning, I hit the same rock and it plugged, so I had to take a five, but in the playoff I hit my hybrid and it bounced off the rock right in front of the green," Atson said.
The tee shot ended up about 50 yards short of the green, and Atson took advantage, chipping about eight feet short of the pin to give him a birdie putt.
Tanner, who is a PGA apprentice at Piñon Hills Golf Course, found the fairway with an iron off the tee, then the Farmington resident's second shot landed in the middle of the green, leaving him an uphill, 25-footer for birdie.
Both Atson and Tanner missed their birdie putts. Atson tapped in his par putt, but Tanner saw his three-footer lip out on the right side of the cup, crowning Atson the champion.
In total, 73 amateurs and seven professionals competed in the event.
Ty Hamer, Piñon Hills head golf professional, said the registration numbers were on par with the past years, but the club would like to see an increase in the upcoming years.
"It's not as many as we'd like. I'd like to see us get around 100 amateurs and 20 pros," Hamer said. "We run a good event every year, and it seems like everyone has a good time. Golf's expensive though and the economy has been hurting us a little bit. If we could get some more sponsorships then that would help, especially with bringing in the pros."
In the amateur division, Tommy Serrano finished with low gross score after a two-round total of 2-over 146.
Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.