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Be like Mike: Donald turns to Jordan for advice

Luke Donald at the 2012 DP World Tour Championship
Getty Images

When he’s not taking money off his fellow Chicagoan, Luke Donald has reportedly turned to NBA legend Michael Jordan for mental advice as the Englishman tries to position himself for that elusive major title.

According to James Corrigan of the Telegraph, Donald and Jordan recently struck up a friendship at the Bear’s Club in South Florida.

“He’s good for the mind,” Donald said, according to the report. “He’s been making sure that I’m ready mentally. It’s been good to pick Michael’s brain 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.”

Donald, now ranked third in the world, makes his season debut this week at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, where 12 of the top 20 players in the world are in the field. He hasn’t played anywhere since tying for third in Dubai in December.

Since then, the professional landscape has changed significantly. Tiger Woods won in his second start of the season. Phil Mickelson hoisted a trophy for the first time in nearly a year. Brandt Snedeker became the hottest player in the sport.

And Rory McIlroy, if you hadn’t heard, signed a mega-deal with Nike, was out of sorts in his season debut in Abu Dhabi, and remains a mystery as the top 65 in the world head to the first World Golf Championships event of the season next week outside Tucson.

Of the world No. 1’s oft-discussed equipment change, Donald told the Telegraph, “He has too much talent for that to be a big factor.”

Like McIlroy, Donald surely has found himself in a position to chase endorsement dollars. Why didn’t he make the switch? 

“I’m not in the same league as Rory in this regard,” Donald said, according to the report. “If the numbers that were reportedly offered to Rory were offered to me, I would have to think long and hard about it. Who in their right mind wouldn’t?

“But if there was a slight difference between what Mizuno were offering and another company were offering, then it just wasn’t worth it. I’ve got to have that comfort level of I know who I know and what I trust. It’s just one less thing to worry about.”