The European Tour starts with new South African event.

The new season begins Thursday with the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban, the first of six events in South Africa. The season tees off just 11 days after Rory McIlroy's 2012 dominance in Dubai.

Branden Grace of South Africa didn't have the year Rory McIlroy did. He'll probably take a repeat of 2012 just the same. He can't wait to get going in the Race to Dubai, after four wins placed him sixth on the 2012 money list and earned back his card.

McIlroy ended 2012 with five straight birdies and the World Tour Championship title, underlining the dominant year.

Grace says he "got a lot of credit" for his 2012 performance, "but with that comes pressure and responsibility."