Plane fire puts scare into Lee Westwood

Updated: April 5, 2011, 3:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Lee Westwood had a close call Sunday when his private jet was forced to make an emergency landing because of a fire in the cockpit.

Westwood
Westwood

The No. 2 golfer in the world was leaving Houston with his manager, Chubby Chandler, golfer Ross Fisher and two caddies following the city's PGA Tour event.

The group was en route to Augusta, Ga., when the pilot was forced to return to George H.W. Bush International Airport to have the fire extinguished.

"We were a couple of minutes out of the airport," Westwood told The Telegraph of London. "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 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 [fire engines] chasing us down the runaway, but I think that's just a precaution."

Westwood finished 30th at the Houston Open, won by playing partner Phil Mickelson, who also is the Masters' defending champion.