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New year, same goals for Donald

Last updated: 13th February 2013

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Donald: Back in action

Donald: Back in action

Luke Donald returns to action in this week's Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles - his first competitive tournament since November.

The Englishman is excited about the prospect of finally getting out and playing after a lengthy spell spent working on his game.

"Practice is tough, competing is fun," said the 35-year-old.

Donald played a lot of golf at the same club in Florida that Michael Jordan frequents, and picking the basketball legend's brain proved too good an opportunity to pass up.

"He's good for the mind," Donald told the Daily Telegraph. "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."

Capturing his first major is, as ever, top of the agenda, and Donald won't be reading too much into this week's performance, considering his long lay-off.

The goals for 2013 are simple: win a major and retake the World no 1 ranking. Donald currently lies in third place behind Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

"I still believe that I can have the chance to be number one again," he said.

"The rankings are tough because you basically have to at least match what you did in the season previously not to fall back. Last year was solid for me, but I lost so many points because I had such a great year in 2011.

"It's very hard to keep up. Rory's going to see some of that this year."

Donald plays the opening two rounds this week with Ryder Cup team-mate Graeme McDowell and Australian Adam Scott, both of whom are also making their first appearances of the year.

McDowell finished 2012 on a high, winning the World Challenge in California for the second time in three years, while Scott captured the Australian Masters in November - his first victory since blowing The Open at Royal Lytham.

Another group features an in-form Phil Mickelson, Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley, the three players who fought out a play-off, eventually won by Haas, last year.

Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Open champion Ernie Els are also in the field, as is Vijay Singh, whose use of deer antler spray continues to be investigated by the PGA.



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