NBA: Golfer Donald learns some lessons from iconic Jordan

NBA legend Michael Jordan, in the spotlight approaching his 50th birthday on Sunday, has given top golfer Luke Donald some insight into a champion's mind-set.

Donald, the former world number one from England who is playing this week at the US PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club, said he first met Jordan through golf in Chicago -- where Jordan once starred with the NBA's Bulls.

Donald attended Northwestern University near Chicago and now lives near Jordan in Florida.

"His fiance and my wife are good friends, and we hang out a bit," Donald said.

"It's great just to be around someone that was arguably the greatest of all time in his sport, just to see how he reacts, his demeanor, see his attitude towards things."

Donald first gained the world number one ranking in 2011 -- the same year he became the first player to win both the European and US PGA money titles.

However, his resume still lacks a major title -- a gap he'd like to rectify on the way to regaining the top spot in the rankings that is currently occupied by Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.

Donald was quick to stress that he isn't "working with" Jordan in hopes of improving his mental game.

"We literally are just friends," he said. "I try to pick up things just from watching him. I ask him some questions, and he gives me answers sometimes. It's just nice to have access to someone that was that great at his sport."

Donald said Jordan's advice was "nothing too out of the ordinary."

"Most things he has said is play with what you can control," he said.

Since retiring as a player, Jordan has become an avid golfer and a prominent fan of the US Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams.

Last year, US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love encouraged Jordan to be involved with his team, hoping he could help focus its four rookies.

Jordan had hoped to travel to Australia as a captains' assistant for the US Presidents Cup team in 2011, but as owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats he opted to withdraw because of the NBA lockout.

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