HONG Kong failed to lift themselves out of the mire on the second day of the 16th Asia-Pacific men's amateur team championships for the Nomura Cup in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. They fell further behind the rest of the field after producing an even worse score than their dismal first round, despite Alec Pettigrew showing a marked improvement in his own form. Pettigrew's opening-round 83 over the Royal Selangor Golf Club's Old Course had been discounted in the event in which only the three best daily scores count. But he improved by five strokes yesterday with a six-over-par 78 - two shots better than teammates, Ian Hindhaugh, Lau Kwong-hon and Tang Shu-wah. Hong Kong's second day aggregate of 238 was two worse than their first-round effort and left them further adrift at the bottom in the 13-nation tournament. Going into today's penultimate round, Hong Kong are propping up the field with an overall score of 474. That is 22 shots behind 12th-placed Thailand. At the half-way stage, pre-tournament favourites Australia are out in front on 422 with Japan (425) and Taiwan (426) close at hand. The star of the day was Taiwan's Ho Chung-yuan who fired a breathtaking eight-under-par 64 to smash the amateur course record. Ho, in fine putting form, snared an eagle and seven birdies against a solitary bogey in an inspired display which came within one stroke of matching the professional course record. Ho's heroics enabled him to join Japan's Kazuyoshi Yonekura at the top of the individual leaderboard on 135 - seven under par. No fewer than 31 of the players in the 52-man field returned rounds of 75 or better yesterday. Hindhaugh's opening-day 77 remains the best round by a Hong Kong player. Nine shots adrift of Taiwan in fourth place are India who are followed by New Zealand (439), South Korea (440), the Philippines (442), Pakistan (444), Singapore (445), Malaysia (446), Indonesia (448), Thailand and Hong Kong.