Golf and the 2021 Masters Tournament will be the focus of the sports world this weekend, and two locals are in the exclusive field.
The Masters, one of the PGA Tour’s four major championships, kicks off on Thursday. As usual, the famed Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Ga., plays host to the star-studded four-day tournament.
Golf betting in Virginia offers a seemingly endless list of options. From outright winner to top 10, from first-round leader to miss/make cut, from group wagering to tournament props, golf betting comes in all forms.
And let’s be honest: There’s serious potential for FOMO with the 2021 Masters. With Virginia sportsbook apps now accepting legal wagers, there’s a good chance your fellow sports fans are going to have some skin in the game for this famed golf classic.
If you’re thinking about joining them, you have options abound. And if you want to back some of Virginia’s own, including Lanto Griffin and Marc Leishman, there are plenty of opportunities to bet on them too.
Popular picks for the 2021 Masters
Dustin Johnson, who won the pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters in November, is the favorite to win this year’s tourney. The 36-year-old, who’s ranked No. 6 in the FedExCup Standings, is available at +950 at DraftKings VA and FanDuel VA. (At those odds, a winning $10 bet would be worth $95 in profit.)
Bryson DeChambeau (ranked No. 1), Jordan Spieth (No. 7), Justin Thomas (No. 2), and John Rahm (No. 13) are also among the 2021 Masters favorites. Each is available in the +900 to +1200 range.
According to DraftKings, bettors are also wagering big on Brooks Koepka (+2800), Collin Morikawa (+2500), Xander Schauffele (+2500), Patrick Cantlay (+2050), and Rory McIlroy (+1900).
DraftKings also has a special for first-time depositors. You can choose any golfer from the field and get +10000 odds that he will finish in the top 10. The max bet is $1, which means a potential $100 payoff if your golfer finishes in 10th place or better. You just need to:
- Deposit $5 or more in your Sportsbook account.
- Use your single-use Odds Boost on the golfer of your choice.
- Make your pick before the first golfer tees off.
Remember, though, that this week’s tournament won’t have a typical field. The Masters is limited to the best of the best, including former Masters winners, PGA champions, international champs, and even Olympic gold medalists. In fact, it has the smallest field of any major championship.
Meet VCU grad Lanto Griffin
Among that exclusive list are Lanto Griffin, who’s No. 56 in the FedExCup Standings, and Marc Leishman, who’s 90th. Both of the veteran golfers have strong Virginia ties. And if you’re looking for some sentimental reasons to back them this weekend with your bets, they’ve got them in spades.
Griffin is a California native who moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, as a kid and made it his home. He soon took up golf and played all day on his municipal course. When Griffin’s father died from brain cancer, the head pro at Blacksburg Country Club took the kid under his wing and gave him an honorary membership.
“Which to me, at that time, felt like Augusta National,” Griffin wrote in Golf Digest in 2018.
Griffin took his game to the next level at the club. He ultimately played golf at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year. It’s also where he earned a marketing degree.
However, Griffin initially struggled on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour, and he nearly gave up his dream of being a pro golfer on numerous occasions. But the 32-year-old stuck with it and ultimately claimed his first PGA title in 2019. Now, he’s made 14 of 16 cuts with two top 10s so far this year.
Additionally, Griffin was once deep in credit card debt as he struggled to fund his golf career. A few years later, though, he’s reached nearly $5 million in career earnings.
Meet Australian-born Virginian Marc Leishman
Leishman, meanwhile, is an Australian-born golfer who was named the 2009 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
The 38-year-old ultimately made Virginia Beach his home, and he and his family have become a big part of the community.
Part of that is due to his wife, Audrey, who in 2015 nearly died from acute respiratory distress syndrome. She was given just a 5% chance to recover. But she did. And now she and Marc run the Begin Again Foundation, which aids families who need help with medical and life expenses.
It’s no wonder why Leishman’s considered one of the “nicest blokes on tour.”
Leishman has struggled a bit at times in 2021. However, he picked up his fifth career PGA Tour win in 2020, and he’s the type of crafty golfer who’s always a threat when the stakes are high.
How to bet on VA golfers
The 2021 Masters kicks off this Thursday, April 8. A field of 88 golfers will hit the links. The top 50 (including ties) move on to the final two rounds, and the rest are cut.
Here are the playing groups for each Virginia golfer this week.
Group 20, 11:54 a.m. tee-off
- Lanto Griffin
- Jose Maria Olazabal
- Matt Wallace
Group 21, 12:12 p.m. tee-off
- Marc Leishman
- Victor Perez
- Jason Kokrak
If you think Griffin or Leishman can claim a famed green jacket this weekend, there could be a handsome payoff. Of course, other options present more realistic odds. Here are some options:
- Tournament winner: Bet on a golfer to win the entire tournament.
- Top 3, Top 10, Top 40: Bet on a golfer’s finishing position in the tournament.
- First-round leader: Bet that a golfer will be the leader after the first round of play.
- Make cut/miss cut: Bet that a golfer will or will not make the cut after two rounds of play.
Here are those odds at one VA sportsbook, DraftKings, which has an array of Masters betting options:
|Lanto Griffin||Marc Leishman|
Of course, you could also use Griffin or Leishman with DraftKings bet $1, win $100 promo we mentioned above. Instead of a $9 payoff (Leishman at +900) or $10 payoff (Griffin at +1000), your $1 bet could have a $100 payoff thanks to the boosted +10000 odds.