The PGA Tour has suspended two Korn Ferry Tour players for betting on tournaments they did not play. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
hand out punishments
The PGA Tour has suspended two golfers – Vince India and Jake Staiano – for betting on tournaments. Both play on the Korn Ferry Tour, the PGA Tour’s development tour. The commissioner’s office announced the bans Friday.
Placed bets on PGA Tour events in which they did not participate
India will serve a six-month ban retroactive to September 18, while Jake Staiano will serve a three-month ban from all PGA Tour-sanctioned events retroactive to September 11. Both violated the PGA Tour’s “Integrity Program,” which outlines the dos and don’ts for players when it comes to gambling. The golfers allegedly placed bets on PGA Tour events they did not compete in, which is still a violation.
I won’t reveal too much
No specific details were given about the bets in question or why India received Staiano’s double ban. The “integrity program” offers offending parties certain forms of mitigation that could result in shortened suspensions, such as self-reporting the activity or fully cooperating with investigators. The duration of the bans is extended if a significant sum of money was at stake or there was malicious intent behind the crime.
The bans received by Staiano and India are reportedly the first the PGA Tour has issued for gambling-related reasons since legal sports betting was introduced in the United States. The tour first unveiled its “integrity program” in 2018 following the end of the federal betting ban.
The Korn Ferry Tour is an opportunity for golfers to advance and have a chance to earn a PGA Tour card by finishing high enough in the final leaderboard of the season.
In the past, the PGA Tour has had a track record of keeping quiet about suspensions. Over the years, rumors have circulated that certain players would disappear from tournament golf for unknown reasons, and many people assumed they were banned for one offense or another. This may include violations of the organization’s anti-doping policies and participation in certain types of unauthorized events.
Discover the world of sports betting
Both players are journeymen; Vince India has competed in 176 Korn Ferry Tour events and just three PGA Tour events since turning professional in 2011. The 27-year-old Staiano is new to the professional scene and only entered the paid ranks in 2019. He has competed in 17 Korn Ferry Tour events throughout his career, achieving a best finish of 19Th at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in June.
The PGA Tour works with Genius Sports and US Integrity to keep an eye on betting activity to ensure that players are not interfering and that there is nothing suspicious that could indicate something nefarious is at play.
The PGA Tour certainly hasn’t shied away from conquering the emerging world of sports betting. The company has relationships with many leading sportsbooks, including BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings. That includes an agreement with DraftKings that led to the opening of a retail sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, home of the popular World Cup Phoenix Open each year.