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Masters 2011: Lee Westwood's flight to Augusta makes emergency landing just after takeoff

April 5, 2011 |  8:09 am

Lee Westwood’s Masters week got off to a bumpy start.

The world’s second-ranked player was on his private jet bound for Augusta when it had to return to Houston for an emergency landing shortly after takeoff.

Westwood downplayed the incident Tuesday, saying of manager Chubby Chandler, who also was on the flight: “If you talk to Chubby, there were flames coming up our legs and things like that.”

Westwood said he smelled smoke and was taken aback to see the pilots wearing their oxygen masks. The plane, also carrying golfer Ross Fisher and two caddies, returned to George Bush International Airport and departed again Sunday night.

“On the next flight I had a very large double vodka,” Westwood said.

Westwood, runner-up to Phil Mickelson at the Masters last year, said Lefty encouraged him last year by telling him: “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

Westwood has yet to win a major but said: “I know if I’m on my game, it’s good enough to win.”


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-- Teddy Greenstein, reporting from Augusta, Ga.

Photo: Lee Westwood speaks with the media during before a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club on Tuesday. Credit: David Cannon / Getty Images