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Jake Staiano

‘I’m not a degenerate gambler’: Tour pro explains three-month suspension for betting

Jake Staiano has opened up on his suspension for gambling which will prevent him from qualifying for the PGA Tour in 2024 via Q-school

 

A tour professional has spoken for the first time since being suspended for gambling.

Jake Staiano can’t play in PGA Tour-sanctioned competitions for three months for violating the tour’s Integrity Program.

The tour outlined in a statement on October 27 that Staiano and Vince India, who was suspended for six months, bet on PGA Tour competitions but not in ones they played in.

Staiano has shed light on the four gambling cases totalling $116.20 in 2021 which will keep him inactive until December 10.

“It didn’t even cross my mind,” he told the Any Given Monday podcast.

“I understand the principle, but it wasn’t a malicious ‘Hey I’m betting this because I know I can win and I don’t think I’m getting to get caught’ kind of thing.

“I understand that betting on golf is wrong, and I want to say that for sure. I guess I want people to know that it wasn’t out of malicious intent.

NOW READ: Shad Tuten looks back on ‘traumatic’ Korn Ferry rule break

“I wasn’t trying to defy the PGA Tour’s rules. I saw it on my phone, I clicked the button and then now we’re here.”

Staiano said he placed $25 on Bryson DeChambeau to make a birdie on a par 5 at what he believed to be the FedEx St. Jude Championship in 2021.

He placed three other bets on the ‘Brooks vs Bryson’ match three months later in November.

Staiano explained the tour hired a ‘third-party’ to investigate this case. He was first informed of being involved in an integrity violation in May of this year and at the end of August, he was told a decision was imminent.

The 27-year-old, who’s played 17 events on the Korn Ferry Tour since joining in 2022, will now miss the first stages of PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Q-school in what he described as a potentially “career-altering” punishment.

“It is what it is,” he added. “I’ve accepted my punishment, it is what it is. Fair or not, people can argue that.

“I just wanted to make sure other guys understand exactly what happened so that they don’t make the same mistakes.

“It could be career-altering. I’m treating it like it’s not, but you never know. I may never get a chance to go back through Q-school.

“I’m not a degenerate gambler. I’m not betting thousands of dollars on Brooks or Bryson, or whatever. I’m not doing that with other sports either.

“I was 24 or 25 at the time. I made a mistake. I felt like the press release made me and Vince look like we were these evil guys that were betting all the time.

“It really isn’t that deep. That part was frustrating for sure.”

India has now posted a statement on X after being banned for six months:

NOW READ: Ryder Cup or major? Jose Maria Olazabal knows what he’d prefer…

What do you make of this Jake Staiano golf story? Tell us on X, formerly Twitter!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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