European Tour’s struggles at home continue

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) - The European Tour has announced a 45-tournament schedule for 2013 that reflects ongoing financial difficulties in countries like Spain and the potential for new markets in Russia and South Africa.

For the first time, there will be six tournaments in South Africa, including the season-opening Nelson Mandela Championship next month. Other new tournament venues include Russia and Turkey.

But the tour will have six fewer tournaments in Spain than two years ago and won’t feature the Czech Open. It is also dropping the Singapore Open and adding the Hong Kong Open next season.

The Race to Dubai will remain in place, despite criticism this year when top-ranked Rory McIlroy won it with two tournaments remaining. It will, however, provide bonus points for those taking part in the final three events.

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