Professional Golfer Korn Ferrr Claims Suspension Resulting from $116 Betting Incident

Posted on: October 31, 2023, 12:29h. 

Last updated on: October 31, 2023, 12:29h.

Korn Ferry Tour player Jake Staiano has been handed a three-month suspension from the PGA Tour for violating the Integrity Program, which prohibits players from betting on professional golf. The suspension comes after Staiano and Vince India were revealed to have engaged in prohibited conduct related to sports betting.

Korn Ferry Jake Staiano golf betting
Korn Ferry Tour player Jake Staiano is speaking out about his suspension that will result in him losing his playing status. The PGA Tour banned Staiano for three months for betting $116 on golf events. (Image: Getty/

In an effort to address the controversy surrounding his suspension, Staiano joined the “Any Given Monday” golf podcast to explain the situation. He clarified that while he doesn’t regularly place sports bets, his suspension was a result of four bets he made on golf in 2021.

Staiano, a 27-year-old golfer from Colorado with career earnings of less than $31,000, admitted that one of his bets was $25 on Bryson DeChambeau’s performance in a PGA Tour tournament. It’s important to note that Staiano was not playing in the event nor had any status at the time.

The remaining three bets were placed during “The Match” exhibition event between DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka at the Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas on November 26, 2021. Staiano bet on DeChambeau, who ultimately lost to Koepka.

According to Staiano, the total amount wagered on the four bets was $116.20. The PGA Tour, which governs the Korn Ferry Tour, deemed Staiano’s actions as “prohibited conduct” and issued a three-month ban from professional golf.

During the 2022-23 seasons, Staiano made six cuts out of 17 events played. His best finish was a T19 at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in June, where he earned $12,210.

Controversial Punishment?

The PGA Tour has faced criticism for the suspensions of both Staiano and Vince India, who received a six-month ban for similar betting activities. However, the Tour clarified that neither player bet on tournaments they participated in or attempted to influence the outcomes. India has not commented publicly on his suspension, which will last until March 17, 2024.

Staiano openly discussed his suspension on the podcast, aiming to raise awareness and prevent future players from making the same mistake that could jeopardize their careers.

Staiano stated, “I’ve accepted my punishment. Fair or not, people can argue that, but one of my biggest things is I want to make sure other guys understand exactly what happened so they don’t make the same mistake.”

Staiano’s suspension began on September 11 and will last until December 11, affecting his participation in the PGA Tour’s Q-School. However, the Tour has reimbursed his $4,500 entry fee for the event.

Understanding the Rules

Despite completing the Tour’s Integrity Program tutorial, Staiano claimed that he was not fully aware of what constitutes a professional golf tournament. He expressed that he did not consider the DeChambeau-Koepka match as one, although it was an exhibition event not sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

According to Staiano, the PGA Tour hired a “third-party” to investigate players’ compliance with the Integrity Program. However, it remains uncertain whether this is true. It is worth noting that casual betting among players before or during PGA Tour events is not uncommon. Staiano took responsibility for his actions, acknowledging that he was “naïve” and failed to fully understand the “vague gray area.”

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