Lee Westwood needed someone to carry his bag for him at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week when his long-time caddie dropped out following the death of his father.

With his options limited at such short notice, the former No. 1 called on someone close to home.

His girlfriend, Helen Storey, has wanted to try out the job for a while and was happy to help out, especially since she had the week off from her day job as a personal trainer.

With the par-72 National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club measuring long at 7,583 yards, it wasn't easy to replace usual caddie Billy Foster.

"I wouldn't want to carry the golf bag around six miles in this kind of heat," Westwood said. "Every credit for doing it."

It was a valuable experience for Westwood, too.

"She doesn't play a lot of golf so she can't do too much about that (side of things)," Westwood said. "It was good for me, doing the yardage, reading the greens, and taking a bit more responsibility. You sometimes lose touch with your game when you haven't got that responsibility."

Westwood, now ranked No. 45, shot a 4-under 68 in his first round of competitive golf in nearly two months and was tied for 10th place, four strokes behind leader Henrik Stenson.

"I didn't advise him," Helen said at the back of the 18th green at the end of Westwood's round. "Just keeping up: That was my job. And I made sure he was hydrated.

"I managed to get round in one piece. He's very even-tempered all the time with me. It was good fun."