Pickens shot 322 Monday to take the first-round lead in the Class AAA girls golf state tournament at Black Bear Golf Club in Longs.
The Blue Flame have an 18-shot advantage over Pickens County rival Daniel, which is second at 340. St. James is third at 342, followed by defending champion Greenville at 344 and then Wren at 345.
Defending champion Cayla Smith of Wren and Maddison Cox of Pickens shared the individual lead after each shot a 2-under-par 70. Palmetto’s Makalyn Poole is four shots back at 74.
Greenville’s Carly Burkhardt is one of three players in a tie for fifth at 76.
Pickens, which was runner-up to Greenville last year, has never won a state championship in girls golf. The sport has been sanctioned by the South Carolina High School League since 1999.
* In the Class AAAA state tournament at Willow Creek Golf Club in Greer, Lexington shot 298 Monday to take the first-round lead.
Spartanburg is second at 314, followed by Bluffton at 324, Easley at 325 and Wade Hampton at 329.
Lugoff-Elgin’s Kelli Murphy has the individual lead after firing a 3-under-par 69. Lexington’s Lauren Stephenson is one shot back at 70. Easley’s Savannah Goodman and Spartanburg’s Anne Taylor Hough are at 72, and Wade Hampton’s Courtney Vogel is one of three players at 73.
Lexington, the defending champion, has won the title eight times in the past nine years.
Both tournaments will conclude with 18 holes today.