Kim, who advanced to the Asian Tour after winning three tournaments in the development tour, withstood a squall and some rain at Millbrook Resort.
The 17-year-old has already won on the Asian Tour proper and has jumped inside the world’s top 150 ranked players. He fired an eagle and six birdies with one bogey in his round.
He has a one-shot lead on 2011 New Zealand Open champion Brad Kennedy from who shot a six-under at The Hills including a superb eagle at the par-5 17th when he was on in two, along with seven birdies and three bogeys.
Kennedy commented on the conditions with swirling winds that changed directions within a short timeframe.
Defending champion Zach Murray had a useful start to shoot three-under par 68 at Millbrook Resort, while kiwi Ryan Fox, who like Murray travelled from Mexico after playing in the World Golf Championship event, shot a two-under 70 at The Hills.
The conditions have settled with sunshine breaking through and winds dropping for the afternoon rounds.