SA gets lion's share in golf
Dubai - South Africa has replaced Spain as the jewel in the European Tour crown after being given six tournaments on the 2012-13 schedule released by officials on Sunday.
The new campaign kicks off with the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban from December 6-9 before moving on to the Alfred Dunhill Championship at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane a week later.
South Africa also stages the Volvo Golf Champions event in January plus three tournaments in February and March - the Joburg Open, Africa Open and the new Tshwane Open in Centurion.
Spain, which hosted seven tour events in 2011 and three this year, is down to one on the new schedule - the Spanish Open at a venue to be arranged in April.
The country's economic crisis has had a profound effect on top-level golf with sponsors disappearing and prize funds being withdrawn.
The Sicilian Open and Madeira Islands Open do not appear on the new schedule but there are three blank weeks and the tour are still hoping those two tournaments can continue.
The Hong Kong Open, which has been staged every year since 2002, is also missing from the calendar but will return for the 2013-14 season.
The European Tour's international schedule for 2013:
6-9 - Nelson Mandela Championship, Royal Durban, South Africa
13-16 - Alfred Dunhill Championship, Leopard Creek, South Africa
10-13 - Volvo Champions, Durban Country Club, South Africa
17-20 - Abu Dhabi Championship, Abu Dhabi
23-26 - Qatar Masters, Doha, Qatar
31-Feb 3 - Dubai Desert Classic, Emirates, Dubai
7-10 - Joburg Open, Royal Johannesburg and Kensington, South Africa
14-17 - Africa Open, East London, South Africa
21-24 - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Dove Mountain, Tucson, Arizona, United States
28-Mar 3 - Tshwane Open, Copperleaf, South Africa
7-10 - WGC-Cadillac Championship, Doral, Miami, Florida, United States
14-17 - Avantha Masters, Jaypee Green, Delhi, India
21-24 - Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
28-31 - Hassan Trophy, Royal Palace, Adagir, Morocco
11-14 - US Masters, Augusta National, Georgia, United States
18-21 - Spanish Open, venue to be announced
25-28 - Ballantine's Championship, Blackstone, Icheon, South Korea
2-5 - Volvo China Open, Binhai Lake, Tianjin, China
16-19 - Volvo World Match Play Championship, Thracian Cliffs, Kavarna, Bulgaria
23-26 - BMW PGA Championship, Wentworth, Surrey, England
30-Jun 2 - Nordea Master, Bro Hof Slott, Stockholm, Sweden
6-9 - Lyoness Open, Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria
13-16 - US Open, Merion, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Unite States
13-16 - Saint Omer Open , Lumbres, France
20-23 - BMW International Open, Munchen Eichenried, Munich, Germany
27-30 - Irish Open, Carton House, Maynooth, Co Kildare, Ireland
4-7 - French Open, Le Golf National, Paris, France
11-14 - Scottish Open, Castle Stuart, Inverness, Scotland
18-21 - Open Championship, Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland
25-28 - Russian Masters, venue TBA
1-4 - WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Firestone, Akron, Ohio, United States
8-11 - USPGA Championship. Oak Hill, Rochester, New York, United States
22-25 - Johnnie Walker Championship, Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland
29-Sep 1 - Wales Open, Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales
5-8 - European Masters, Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland
12-15 - KLM Open, Kennemer, Zandvoort, Holland
19-22 - Italian Open, venue TBA
26-29 - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, St Andrews, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Scotland
3-6 - Vivendi Seve Trophy, venue TBA
10-13 - Portugal Masters, venue TBA
17-20 - Perth International, Lake Karrinyup, Perth, Australia
24-27 - BMW Masters, Lake Malaren, Shanghai, China
31-Nov 3 - WGC-HSBC Champions, Sheshan International, Shanghai China
7-10 - Turkish Open, Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey
14-17 - DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Estates, Dubai