Sports log: Tournament of Champions is on hold


For those who think the PGA Tour season never ends, here’s a new twist: This one can’t get started. The season-opening Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii, was postponed for the second straight day because of gusts that topped 40 m.p.h. and made it impossible to play golf. Unlike the previous day when 24 players managed to tee off, no one hit a shot Saturday on the Plantation Course. Players arrived in darkness and never got farther than the practice range. Play was delayed three times before it was called for the day. The season now starts Sunday with hopes of playing 36 holes, followed by an 18-hole finish Monday. It will be the first time the Tournament of Champions is reduced to 54 holes since 1997, when Tiger Woods beat Tom Lehman in a playoff when a par 3 at La Costa was the only hole that could be used because of so much rain.


Rivera will return as Panthers coach

Ron Rivera will return as coach of the Panthers next season. Rivera, with two years left on his contract, met with owner Jerry Richardson and was informed that he will return for a third season. Richardson fired general manager Marty Hurney after a 1-5 start and informed Rivera at the time the Panthers needed to be ‘‘trending upward’’ the rest of the season. The Panthers went 6-4 from that point, including four straight wins to close the season . . . Michigan State defensive end William Gholston is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. The 6-foot-7-inch, 278-pound Gholston is one of three Michigan State underclassmen to announce his intentions to turn pro, joining running back Le’Veon Bell and tight end Dion Sims.


Williams takes Brisbane International

Serena Williams captured her 47th career title with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Brisbane (Australia) International final. In the men’s draw, defending champion Andy Murray advanced to the final when fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori retired with an injured left knee while trailing 6-4, 2-0 in their semifinal. Murray, the Olympic and US Open champion, will meet Grigor Dimitrov, who advanced to his first ATP Tour final with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Marcos Baghdatis. . . . Spain defeated Serbia, 2-1, to win the Hopman Cup in Perth, Austalia. Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues won the deciding mixed doubles, 6-4, 7-5, against Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic . . . Richard Gasquet won the Qatar Open in Doha, beating Nikolay Davydenko, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 . . . Top-seeded Li Na secured a 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 victory over KlaraZakopalova to capture the inaugural Shenzhen (China) Open . . . Second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic beat semifinalist Aljaz Bedene, 4-6, 6-2 6-2, and will play Roberto Bautista-Agut for the Chennai (India) Open title. Bautista-Agut followed up his stunning win over top seed and sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych with a victory over Benoit Paire, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Winter sports

US hockey team wins world juniors


The United States won the junior ice hockey championships in Ufa, Russia, after Rocco Grimaldi scored twice and Vince Trocheck added an empty-net goal for a 3-1 win over defending champion Sweden in the final. John Gibson made 26 saves for the victory and was named tournament MVP . . . Martins Dukurs of Latvia claimed his fifth skeleton World Cup win of the season to extend his lead in the overall standings in Altenberg, Germany . . . Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won their fifth consecutive World Cup luge event in Koenigssee, Germany, to maintain their perfect start to the season. Natalie Geisenberger led a German sweep of the top three positions in the women’s event to consolidate her lead in the standings . . . Three-time champion Dario Cologna of Switzerland surged into the Tour de Ski overall lead after the penultimate stage, overtaking Petter Northug of Norway in the 15-kilometer classical mass start race in Cavalese, Italy. Three-time defending champion Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland dominated the women’s 10K event to extend her lead.


Rangers, Berkman are close to a deal

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A person familiar with the situation said the Texas Rangers are close to a deal with Lance Berkman to be their designated hitter. Multiple reports, all citing unidentified sources, said it would be a one-year deal worth at least $10 million. Berkman was limited by injuries to 32 games for the Cardinals last season . . . Defender Will Packwood, a Concord, Mass., native, broke his left leg playing for English club Birmingham at the FA Cup in Leeds, England, and will miss the rest of the season. Packwood moved to England as a 15-year-old and rose through second-tier club Birmingham’s academy before earning a two-year professional contract in 2011 . . . With Cornelio Velasquez aboard, Vyjack held off long shot Siete de Oros by a head in the $200,000 Jerome Stakes, the first major race of the season for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct in New York.