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Sandra Gal hammers home LPGA win with clutch birdie on 18

Now this is how you want to end a golf tournament. Sandra Gal and Jiyai Shin were dueling for the win at the Kia Classic, walking up the 18th fairway tied with one another. Shin's approach on 18 dropped to within four feet; Gal saw and raised that by placing hers 83-yarder within two feet. Shin missed her four-footer for birdie, but Gal didn't, and that was that.

This marked Gal's first-ever LPGA win, and she was the first first-time winner of the season. Bravo to her, and as a salute, we won't make some lame pun on her last name.

Here's the LPGA's video of the event. Gal's final approach is at about the 3:45 mark. (Tip to the LPGA: make it easy on us all. Edit it down to the one key approach shot.) Check it:

Best part? Gal admitted she was trying to hole out. Not even "get it close," or even "give myself a chance," but "I was trying to hole it. I came close, so, yeah. Pretty much just hit it where I wanted to."

She also had to deal with the strange issue of a spectator grabbing her ball while it was still rolling, and then jamming it down into the ground. Other spectators ratted out sticky-fingers, and Gal got to place her ball in a less embedded location. Ah, LPGA golf.

Anyway, congrats on the win. It's a solid run-up to the Kraft Nabisco this week.

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