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Suspended pro golfer talks about $116 in bets that got him in trouble and warns others of 'career-altering' mistakes

October 30, 2023
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Jake Staiano hits a drive during the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament Final Stage.

PGA TOUR

Jake Staiano, a Korn Ferry Tour player who has been suspended for making bets on PGA Tour competition, is explaining his side of the story.

The PGA Tour announced on Friday that Staiano and fellow KFT player Vince India were suspended for three and six months, respectively, for violating betting rules within the tour’s “Integrity Program.” The brief statement provided no details of the violations and said the tour would have no further comment.

Speaking to Ryan French on his podcast "Any Given Monday," Staiano—a 27-year-old who has played in 17 KFT events over two seasons—said he placed four bets for a total of $116.20. Staiano said he put a $25 bet on Bryson DeChambeau to make a birdie on a par 5 in a PGA Tour event in 2021, and he placed three other bets on DeChambeau when he played Brooks Koepka in The Match in November 2021. He said the latter wagers didn’t seem like an issue because the made-for-TV event was an exhibition.

Staiano said he first heard from an investigator in May 2023 via text about a possible integrity violation. Then in July, at the KFT’s TPC Colorado tournament, he was approached by an investigator, and a month later, he had another conversation with an investigator and confirmed he placed the four bets. Staiano said in early September he received the letter from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan that he was being suspended.

“I understand the principles, I understand you can’t bet. They laid it out perfectly,” Staiano told French. “I didn’t deny gambling.

“I’ve accepted my punishment. It is what it is. 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 that they don’t make the same thing mistake. Because it could be career-altering. I’m treating it like it’s not, but you never know, I might never get a chance to get back to Q-School. I don’t want that to happen to other people because it sucks, it’s tough. It’s a tough situation, it’s something that I have to live with, but I feel like not only myself but other people can learn from what I did.”

India, 34, has yet to comment publicly on his suspension.