There was, it seems, a wee bit of a fire in the cockpit of his private jet.
“We were a couple of minutes out of the airport,” Westwood, the world’s No. 2-ranked golfer, said. “It was a bit scary. It never looks good when you can smell smoke and you turn round and see the pilots have put the masks on.
“The smoke was coming from the cockpit, and they told us later they couldn’t drop our masks because they feed oxygen into the cabin, and if there was a fire it would have fanned the flames.
“The plane came down in a bit of a nosedive because you obviously have to get down as quick as you can. There had been a small fire somewhere in the instruments, and we had the three fire tenders chasing us down the runaway, but I think that’s just a precaution.”
It was. The plane, which also carried Westwood’s manager, golfer Ross Fisher and their caddies, returned to Houston and, obviously, landed safely. After an experience like that, there’s really only one thing left to do: laugh like a hyena at how you’ve cheated death.
“After missing a stack of putts [in Houston], I thought that was the perfect way to end a rotten day. But it hadn’t ended yet. I knew it wasn’t my putter on fire in the hold or anything like that!
“I was all right, but Ross and Billy [Foster, Westwood’s caddie] didn’t look too good. Billy crossed himself a couple of times and he looked terrified when we went into the nosedive.”