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Slattery: From selling clothes to winning events

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AKRON, Ohio – Who is Lee Slattery?

American golf fans may not be familiar with the Englishman, who is celebrating his 34th birthday on Friday, but they know his name with his rise on the leaderboard in Thursday’s first round at the WGC-Bridgestone.

Slattery opened with a 65 at Firestone in his first appearance in this event. He began Thursday alone in second, two shots behind Jim Furyk.

A fledgling pro 10 years ago, Slattery was forced to take a year off from golf to recover from glandular fever, an ailment brought on by food poisoning. He went to work in a clothing store selling children’s garments. The time away led to a new coach, better swing and improved confidence. He won the Madrid Masters last year for his first and only European Tour title.

“Some guys come out on tour and take to it quickly,” Slattery said. “I’ve been a steady improver over the years. I’m starting to make the progress I’ve always expected.”