European Tour announces 2013 docket

The European Tour announced the full 2012-13 schedule on Sunday prior to the conclusion of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The 2012-13 schedule will begin with a pair of events in South Africa, starting on Dec. 6 and Dec. 13.

Once the calendar changes to January, there will be four straight events in the same order from 2012, beginning with the Volvo Golf Champions. The Africa and Joburg Opens, which kicked off the 2012 slate, have shifted to the first two events in February.

In between the first two World Golf Championship events is a new tournament, the Tshwane Open, which will be in South Africa. The Avantha Masters moves from the middle of February to the middle of March, and will be followed by the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is slated three weeks earlier than last season.

After The Masters from April 4-7, the tour heads briefly to Europe for the Open de Espana, but then shifts to Asia for a pair of events.

The Volvo World Match Play and BMW PGA Championship headline May. The BMW International Open and the Irish Open will be the two weeks after the U.S. Open at Merion.

The France and Scottish Opens will again precede the British Open. Ernie Els will defend his title at Muirfield in 2013.

There is a gap in the schedule the week after the PGA Championship, which is again the week after the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational.

The Vivendi Seve Trophy returns to the slate as Great Britain & Ireland will defend its crown against continental Europe the first weekend in October.

The new twist comes at the end of the schedule, where the European Tour's final four events will be known as 'The Final Series.' That starts with the BMW Masters and WGC - HSBC Champions, which will both be in China.

The third event is new to the schedule, the Turkish Open, which will be followed by the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The 2013 schedule currently has 45 tournaments with three open dates possibly being filled at a later time.