The Craigielaw player, 27, posted a four-over 76 on the Jubilee course to finish ten shots behind Danish leader, Daniel Lokke, who hit a 66.
Former Lothians champion Hillson swiftly found himself on the back foot when he racked up a crippling quadruple bogey eight on the second. He rallied with back-to-back birdies at four and five during an outward half of 40 and limited the damage coming home with a level-par back nine.
At the head of affairs, Lokke emerged from the second last group with a six-under score to plunder the lead while Peruvian Patricio Salem, a former US college friend of Scottish golfers Gavin Dear and Keir McNicoll, marked his debut in Scotland with a fine 67.
With only ten courses in the entire country, the same number as in St Andrews, Peru is hardly one of the game's great hotbeds but Salem shrugged off his lack of links golf experience with a six-birdie round.
St Andrews man Greg Paterson was leading the Scots after a three-under 69.