Korn Ferry Tour Golfer Jake Staiano Suspended for Betting on Golf Events
Last week, the PGA Tour suspended Korn Ferry Tour player Jake Staiano for three months due to prohibited bets. The PGA Tour announced that Staiano violated its Integrity Program, which prohibits professional golfers from betting on golf events.
Staiano, who has career earnings of less than $31,000, explained the controversy in an interview on the “Any Given Monday” golf podcast with Ryan French. He admitted to placing four bets on golf in 2021, which led to his suspension. The 27-year-old Colorado native wagered $25 on Bryson DeChambeau to birdie a par 5 during a PGA Tour tournament, despite not playing in the event or having status at the time. He also bet on DeChambeau when he played against Brooks Koepka in “The Match” at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas. In total, Staiano claimed that the four wagers amounted to $116.20. As a result, the PGA Tour, which governs the Korn Ferry Tour, banned him from professional golf for three months.
Staiano’s suspension comes at a critical time as he was set to try to retain his Korn Ferry Tour privileges through the PGA Tour’s Q-School. However, the PGA Tour did reimburse his $4,500 Q-School entry fee.
The PGA Tour has faced criticism for suspending Staiano and another player, Vince India, who received a six-month ban for betting on golf. The Tour confirmed that neither player bet on tournaments they participated in and didn’t engage others to predetermine an outcome.
Staiano defended himself, saying that he wasn’t aware of what constituted a professional golf tournament despite completing the Tour’s Integrity Program tutorial. He believed that “The Match” wasn’t considered a professional golf event, as it was an exhibition event not sanctioned by the PGA Tour. Nevertheless, he admitted to being naïve and not fully understanding the rules.
In an effort to prevent another up-and-coming player from receiving a similar ban, Staiano openly discussed his suspension. He emphasized that while he accepted his punishment, he wanted to ensure that other players fully understand the rules to avoid making similar mistakes.