Polly Riley

Polly Riley was an international amateur champion of the 1940’s and 1950’s, and probably Texas’ greatest female amateur ever. Riley won six Southern Amateurs, two Western Amateurs, three Texas Opens and two Texas amateurs. She was runner-up in both the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Open. She played on six Curtis Cup teams and captained the 1962 team.

A tiny 5-footer who whistled her way around the course, She spent her early years in Fort worth, Tulsa, and Kansas City, but she did all her golfing out of Fort Worth. However, she graduated from Fort Worth’s Arlington Heights High School. Polly Never turned professional, but she could play with the pros. She won her first two pro events in 1950 – the Tampa Women’s Open and the Helen Lee Doherty Match Play Championship in Miami, where she defeated Marlene Bauer in the 36-hole finals, 4-3.

Marlene had just been named Woman Athlete of the Year. Polly also beat Babe Zaharias 10-9, in the 36-hole finals of the 1948 Texas Open. In competition against Zaharias, Polly can claim a 3-2 edge.


Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas

Born: August 27, 1926

Died: March 13, 2002