Piercy takes first-round lead at Sony Open as Hawaii finally offers good weather

Scott Piercy made it look like a breeze Thursday in Hawaii. Coming off a wild and windy spell that led to postponements at Kapalua last week, Piercy kept bogeys off his card on a day of gentle wind just south of Waikiki Beach for a 6-under 64 at the Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him a one-shot lead over Jeff Overton among the early starters at Waialae Country Club.

Tim Herron rallied with a 30 on the back nine and was among those at 66.

Dustin Johnson was going along fine in his bid to become the first player in 10 years to sweep the Hawaii swing. But the Kapalua winner hit a shot off a tent and onto the road for bogey on his last hole for a 70.

RORY FOUNDATION: Rory McIlroy announced the formation of The Rory Foundation, with a goal of helping children around the world. Among the first projects is to bring attention to children by putting the name of charities on his bag when possible. The world’s No. 1 player starts his season next week in Abu Dhabi.

Two years ago, the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland spent time with children in earthquake-ravaged Haiti the week before the U.S. Open. He then won his first major at Congressional, setting a U.S. Open record at 16-under 268.


SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL: Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska advanced to the final, running her 2013 winning streak to eight matches with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over former French Open champion Li Na.

HEINEKEN OPEN: Sam Querrey’s booming serve carried him past Jesse Levine 6-4, 7-6 (5) and into the semifinals at Auckland, New Zealand. Top-seeded David Ferrer had an easier match, downing Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-1.


TOP SPORTSWRITER: Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald has been named Maine Sportswriter of the Year for 2012 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Thomas is in his 19th year writing for the Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram. Previously, he covered sports for the St. Petersburg Times in St. Petersburg, Fla., for 12 years.

Thomas is the beat writer for the Portland Sea Dogs, a Double-A baseball team in the Eastern League, and the Maine Red Claws of the NBA’s D-League.

Thomas has also covered University of Maine football, basketball and baseball.

Thomas will be honored along with 106 state sportswriters and sportscasters at the 54th annual NSSA Awards weekend in Salisbury, N.C., June 8-10.


MAJOR LEAGUES: The Toronto Blue Jays claimed left-hander Tommy Hottovy off waivers from the Texas Rangers. From 2006 to 2011, Hottovy played all or part of the season with the Portland Sea Dogs.

Last year, the 31-year-old reliever appeared in nine games for the Kansas City Royals, posting a 2.89 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He spent the majority of the year with Triple-A Omaha of the Pacific Coast League, where he recorded a 2.52 ERA and seven saves in 50 innings.

Free-agent pitcher Francisco Liriano injured his right (non-throwing) arm over the holidays, and his deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates is on hold.

— From staff and news services