Tourism Minister Kim Hames remains confident that WA's rich new golf tournament will be a success, despite only two confirmed international participants seven weeks before tee off.
The inaugural Perth International tournament, funded largely by $2.5 million from WA taxpayers, is due to be held at Lake Karrinyup from October 18-21.
It will be the richest tournament in Australia and the only one co- sanctioned with the star-studded European Tour. Under the contractual arrangements, event organiser IMG is obliged to deliver at least three players ranked in the world's top 25 for the tournament.
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, from South Africa, and world No. 7 Jason Dufner, from the US, were confirmed this month as the tournament's first drawcards.
There has been no other player announcement but Dr Hames said yesterday that he was not concerned.
He was confident more top-quality players would sign up, especially as the Perth International was now one of only a few late opportunities for players to improve their rankings and qualify for a rich end-of-season tournament in Dubai.
Players had until three weeks before the event to register.
Perth last hosted a major international golf tournament in 2009, the Johnnie Walker Classic - a tournament that was rotated around Asia and was not WA owned.
Since then the WA Government, through the Eventscorp arm of Tourism WA, has been working to create another significant golf event.
Dr Hames, who has secured $7.5 million to hold the tournament over the next three years, said Perth had a strong history of hosting successful international golf events.
"Tourism WA is working with IMG to establish the foundation of the event in year one so that it can continue to grow the tournament into the future," he said.
IMG Australia golf director David Rollo said the company was pleased ticket sales were on track and he expected them to increase over the next few weeks.
Mr Rollo said a number of local companies had agreed to support the event, including Crown Perth, Volkswagen and _The West Australian _.
"We have purposely tried to make the event as affordable and accessible as possible at $44 per ticket," he said."As part of our efforts for the Perth International to promote the game, anyone under 16 years of age will get complimentary access when accompanied by a paying ticketholder."