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The Tour Report

February 15 2013

2:01 PM

Donald closing gap on Bae

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. --  Michael Jordan would be proud.

Luke Donald, who is playing just his second competitive round of the season, has surged into a share of second place during the morning wave of tee times at the Northern Trust Open. Donald, who opened with a 69, has birdied three of his first four holes on the front nine, his second of the day, to pull within one stroke of Sang-moon Bae at 8 under.

The Englishman, who has completed 14 holes and is tied with John Merrick, has gotten to know Jordan recently. The NBA legend has moved into an estate near where Donald is building a home at The Bear's Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Jordan's fiancee and Donald's wife are good friends, as well.

"He’s good for the mind,” Donald told The Telegraph in the UK. “He’s been making sure that I’m ready mentally. 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.”