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European Tour releases complete 2012 schedule

European Tour
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The European Tour released its complete 2012 schedule on Monday, comprising 46 official money events spanning January to November.

The season begins with the Africa Open on Jan. 5. 

The Swedish-based Nordea Masters has moved from late July to the week prior to the U.S. Open and is slated for a Saturday finish to ensure a better field and allow travel to San Francisco for those in the field for the year's second major.

The Austrian Open (July 25-28) will also finish on a Saturday, moving up from late Sept., to the week after the Open Championship. The Italian Open moves from June to Sept.

The venue for the Irish Open remains unknown, though Reuters has reported a move from Killarney G&FC to a Dublin course is imminent.

In this Ryder Cup year, the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles (Aug. 23-26) will be the final qualifying event to make Jose Maria Olazabal's Medinah-bound team. 

Five events will not return in 2012: the Iberdrola Open, Czech Open, Castello Masters, Johor Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Two new tournaments are on the calendar. The Perth International Golf Championship replaces the Castello Masters on the docket. The Volvo Golf Champions – reserved for 2011 tournament winners and active winners of at least 10 tour events – will be played at Fancourt in January.