ISAO Aoki made a controversial and confused early exit from the Kent Hongkong Open yesterday. Prior to teeing-off in the second round of the tournament, the Japanese veteran disqualified himself for signing an incorrect scorecard on Thursday. Having signed for a three-under-par 68 in the opening round, the 50-year-old was handed a two-stroke penalty by tournament organisers after they reviewed television footage which clearly showed Aoki grounding his club in a bunker. Tournament director Pak Williams acknowledged that the committee's ruling in failing to instantly disqualify Aoki had been incorrect. ''We judged Aoki on the wrong rule. It was our error,'' said Williams. Aoki said he had no recollection of grounding his club in the greenside bunker at the par-five 12th hole. However, when he was told of the two-stroke penalty he reviewed the Rules of Golf and decided on Thursday night against accepting the committee's ruling which would have enabled him to continue playing. Said Aoki: ''After reviewing all available information including the tournament committee's decision to apply a two-stroke penalty, I decided the appropriate action should have been disqualification on the basis that I signed an incorrect scorecard. ''You have to live and play by the Rules of Golf and this was the right and honourable thing to do.'' Aoki, Japan's foremost golfer for the past 20 years, said his breach of Rule 13-4 and his subsequent interpretation of Decision 34 1b/1 left him with no option but to disqualify himself. He said: ''I feel in my heart that my position on this issue is the correct and honourable one. I am told that I took a practice swing after my first shot, obviously without considering that my ball was still in the bunker. ''I was extremely focused and concentrating on the shot I had just executed poorly. This swing must have been a reaction and I was not aware of this until I was notified. ''I would like to offer my sincere apologies to the tournament sponsor, Kent, and everyone involved with the tournament, particularly the fans.'' Williams said he accepted Aoki's decision on behalf of the tournament committee. ''We are very sad for Aoki having to withdraw but understand he is a man of honour who is widely respected throughout the golfing world. This is a real pity as he was playing very well and up with the leaders,'' said Williams. The actual rule under which Aoki withdrew was 6.6d which states: ''The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole. If he returns a score lower than actually taken he shall be disqualified.'' Said Williams: ''As the error was discovered before the competition had closed the committee was not justified in assessing a two-stroke penalty under Rule 13-4, based on Decision 34 1b/1.'' Both Tom Watson and David Feherty endorsed Aoki's decision to withdraw. ''It was the right thing to do,'' said Feherty, who added that penalising the player two strokes would have been contrary to the Rules of Golf. Aoki, who is making his first trip to Hongkong for 20 years and is here with his wife, said he will remain in the territory until Sunday. He has agreed to take part in a special exhibition following today's third round. Aoki is not the only notable name who will be missing from the third and fourth rounds. Also missing from the last two rounds will be 1981 champion Chen Tse-ming of Taiwan, who missed the cut by a stroke. Chen, who emerged from two years in the doldrums with four tournament triumphs on the 1992 Japanese PGA Tour, missed the 36-hole cut by one stroke after firing his second successive two-over-par 73. Fellow Taiwanese Chen Liang-hsi, runner-up on the 1991 Asian Tour Order of Merit, bowed out after a disappointing 75 yesterday while Fiji's Krishna Singh, brother of European Tour star Vijay, saw his bid for glory ended with a 74.