Sandra Gal outlasted Rolex Rankings No. 2 Jiyai Shin to earn her first LPGA victory at the Kia Classic. Gal hit a wedge from 83 yards to two feet for birdie on the 18th hole to defeat Shin by a stroke and become the only Rolex First-Time winner of 2011. Gal, a native of Dusseldorf, Germany, started playing golf at the age of 6 and her father was her first golf coach. She had an accomplished amateur career, representing Germany at the European Team Championships from 2003-07 and winning the German National Girls Championship in 2003. Gal attended the University of Florida where she was a 2007 first team All-American and won four tournaments. In 2007, Gal won the Czech Invitational Championship and was the top-ranked amateur in both the European and German ranks. Gal turned professional in 2008.
Gal is the second German to record a victory on the LPGA Tour. The first was Tina Fischer in 2001. Gal's best career finish prior to her win at the Kia Classic had been a tie for fifth at the LPGA Corning Classic in 2009. With the victory, Gal earns $255,000.