Mylan ends sponsorship of golf tournament

November 4, 2013
Steve Wheatcroft, native of Washington, was one of the local players to participate in the Mylan Classic at Southpointe Golf Club. The event may be discontinued after Mylan pulled its sponsorship. - Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Mylan Inc. has decided to no longer sponsor the Mylan Golf Classic that has been held at Southpointe Golf Club for the past four years. The event is looking for a new sponsor, says Chase McClain, tournament director.

If a new sponsor can not be found, the event will probably be discontinued. There also is no guarantee the event would return to Southpointe Golf Club with a different sponsor.

“We’ll know within another two or three weeks what’s going to happen,” said McClain. “When Mylan signed on, it didn’t sign on for life. They got us kick-started.”

Mylan, a global pharmaceutical company, and Southpointe made a good pair for this event. The golf club was a short walk from the company’s headquarters in Southpointe. McClain said Mylan had many other “charitable needs” and that it wanted to concentrate on those.

McClain said there were two sponsorships under consideration, but a decision is still a couple weeks away.

“There are only a few events (on tour) that do not have a sponsor,” said McClain.

The Mylan Classic has been a fixture at Southpointe since 2010, when the first event was held over the Labor Day weekend. The tournament remained on that date until the Tour added a season-ending event that included four $1 million tournaments.

The Mylan Classic was moved to the first week of August this year.

“A big piece of (any tournament) is coverage by The Golf Channel,” McClain said. “It gives a chance to showcase the event globally. The question is whether there is a TV window for The Golf Channel to run it.”

McClain said logistics also could present problems for coverage.

“If the previous week, they are in California, then have to come to Western Pennsylvania, yeah it causes routing difficulties,” McClain said. “So it is possible the dates might change (if a new sponsor is found).”

McClain said one of the problems with the Labor Day weekend date was that it was going up against high school football on Friday, then college football on Saturday.

“This year, we were competing with the Pirates,” said McClain, “and we were very happy they did so well. We liked the August date.”

Another problem the Mylan Classic had was the Champions Tour bringing in the Constellation Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club this year. The tour signed a three-year agreement for the event.

The U.S. Open will return to Oakmont Country Club in 2016, making a sponsor search even more competitive.

Ben Martin won the 2013 Mylan Classic by five strokes over Kelly Kraft. The other winners were Robert Streb in 2012, Gary Christian in 2011 and Kevin Kisner in 2010.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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