So naturally, Pappathanasi felt pretty good about her chances in this week's Tedesco Ladies Club Championship. Friday afternoon she brought home her eighth club title after defeating Diana Breed, 5&3, in the scheduled 18-hole final.
"It was a great round," said Pappathanasi, who resides in Beverly. "Diana and I both played very well. It was Diana's first final and it was really interesting. I had played Joanne Steadman in most of my finals. We had a great time and Diana was a great competitor. It was awesome. I was really happy for her to be playing.
"Diana beat Joanne in the semifinal this year so it was exciting. It was like a new challenge. It's really fun."
Tedesco Head Golf Professional Bob Green had a similar take.
"I think Kym and Joanne Steadman, who had both won it seven times, had been in the finals and it's been one way or another for quite a while," Green said. "It was nice to see Diana Breed make the final. She shot 39 on the front nine. She had a couple holes on the back, the 10th and 11th, that kind of let the door open a little bit. Being the veteran she is, Kym just played very steady golf. There was just no room for Diana. Kym played very well. Diana had a couple tough breaks and unfortunately ended up on the short end. It was a good championship."
Pappathanasi's main focus this summer has been improving her distance off the tee.
"I have a great short game," Pappathanasi said. "I've always had to rely on that. I've gotten a little more distance on my drive so I'm glad I was able to make that happen this year.
"I've been really focused on playing better this year. I'm thrilled that I took back the club championship at Tedesco. That was a big goal for me."
Pappathanasi took a bit of an unusual path to golf. She was a tennis player through her youth and only found herself on the links when her father, Arthur, started playing.
"My father took up golf for business," Pappathanasi said. "His uncle started making him play for work. He stopped playing tennis with me. My last semester in college at Vermont (when) I took it up in gym. We have a great time, my dad and I, playing. He's my inspiration. It was really just to spend more time with him, that's why I took up golf. "
Throughout her career, Pappathanasi also drew inspiration from the late Barbara Thorner, who she credited as her mentor. The cup awarded to the Ladies Club winner at Tedesco is named in Thorner's honor. Thorner, a Lynn native who won the 1970 Massachusetts State Amateur champion at Tedesco, was a legend at Tedesco, having won the ladies championship multiple times, never once losing a final according to Green.
"I'm thankful I've won it as many times as I have," Pappathanasi said. "She's not only my mentor but was also a mentor for a lot of women at Tedesco. It's great that I can win that in her name. Knowing that it's named after her is really special."
Her summer season isn't done yet. Pappathanasi will compete in the 116th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Aug. 12-15 at Weston Golf Club. The following week, she'll compete in the Massachusetts Women's Senior Amateur at Renaissance Golf Club in Haverhill.
"I'm looking forward to it," Pappathanasi said. "The Mass. Senior Amateur was just reduced to age 50 to match up with USGA guidelines. I'm also a member at Renaissance, so it'll be great to have an opportunity to play it on my own course."