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Golf

Luke Donald samples the MJ approach

English golfer Luke Donald is being mentored by NBA great Michael Jordon to ensure he is mentally prepared for season.
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2013 18:50
Michael Jordan - who is also a fine golfer - is giving tips to former world number one Donald (pictured) [AP]

World number three Luke Donald, desperate to shrug off the unwanted tag of 'one of the best golfers never to win a major', has turned to NBA great Michael Jordan in a bid to improve his mental approach.

Briton Donald dominated golf in 2011, becoming the first player to win the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic and spending the bulk of the year at the top of the world rankings.

He starts his season at the Northern Trust Open in California this week and has been explaining his work with Jordan who won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls between 1991-98.

"It's been good to pick Michael's brains and find out what he was thinking about when he was playing basketball. He's always trying to play mind games, he doesn't like to lose"

Luke Donald

"He's good for the mind. He's been making sure I'm ready mentally," the Englishman told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"It's been good to pick Michael's brains and find out what he was thinking about when he was playing basketball. He's always trying to play mind games, he doesn't like to lose."

Jordan, who averaged 30.1 points per game during a phenomenal basketball career, is also an accomplished golfer with a handicap of four.

Donald hopes fellow Chicago resident Jordan can unlock the key to playing his best at the year's four majors, starting with the U.S. Masters in April. 

"Although I was content with how I played last year - I won three times on three different continents - I was once again disappointed with how I performed in the majors," said the 35-year-old.

"I played solidly enough at the (British) Open," said Donald, referring to his tie for fifth place.

"But the other three were nothing to write home about. I've got to figure out a way to be competitive at the majors - that's the main aim this year.

"The plan before the majors this year is to go to each course early and have a few days to get familiar with it. I've not played Merion (U.S. Open course) and haven't played Muirfield (British Open) for years."

The Masters takes place from April 11-14, the U.S. Open in Pennsylvania is from June 13-16, the British Open in Scotland is from July 18-21 and the U.S. PGA Championship in Rochester, New York will be contested from August 8-11.

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Source:
Reuters
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