At various majors, including the Masters last year, you could say Lee Westwood was smoking. The guy has been hot enough to almost win a few times (he was the third-round leader here in 2010). But that’s nothing compared to the plane he took on the way to Augusta from Houston.
The private plane carrying him, fellow pro Ross Fisher and agent Andrew (Chubby) Chandler had to make an emergency landing after smoke filled the cockpit.
“We were a couple of minutes out of the airport. It was a bit scary," Westwood told The Guardian. "It never looks good when you can smell smoke and you turn round and see the pilots have put the masks on."
At his news conference today, Westwood said of the incident: “Well, depends who you talk to. You talk to Chubby, there were flames coming up between our legs and things like that much. Not literally.
“We took off, got about I guess three or four minutes in the air, and there was some smoke in the cabin, so the pilots donned the gas masks or whatever, oxygen masks, and turned it around fairly quickly; quicker than you would do normally and brought it down fast and once they got everything comfortable for them I guess, they just landed and we got the fire rescue guard of honor back to the handling agent.”
“It was a bit nervy for three or four minutes. But not as drama?filled as some would have you make out; if you read the Sun, you would think we were on fire and landing like Memphis Belle or something like that.
“I tell you,” Westwood said, “on the next flight I had a very large double vodka.”