The South Korean, who turned 20 last month, made birdies at the 16th and 17th to earn a share of the lead at The Renaissance Club, before a closing bogey – his lone dropped shot of the day – saw him card a three-under-par 67 and finish two shots adrift of winner Xander Schauffele.
Kim has already registered seven professional titles, including twice on the Asian Tour, but he was delighted with how he performed against a stellar global field in the first event co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR.
Asked for his reflections on testing his game in new surroundings, Kim said: “I loved it out here. You have to put your ball in certain places, and I hit it to 20 feet a lot.
“It's just showing me where I am – I feel I could have definitely won this tournament if I played really well. I'm really happy with this result. It's my first Rolex Series event and the result is an accomplishment for me.
“Maybe if I was number one in the world, I would be more frustrated but I'm not. It's going to be more fuel for me going into next week and hopefully trying to play better.”
Kim will remain in Scotland this week for The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews and having missed out on qualifying for last year’s edition at Royal St George’s, he is looking forward to taking part in the landmark championship at The Home of Golf and the walk over the famed Swilcan Bridge.
“150th at St Andrews, I've only heard good things about it,” he said. “I'm heading over today and hopefully I'll see the course tomorrow. Just look at the course and just take it all in.”