Ryder Cup captaincy is in equal measures an honour and a burden.
Elevated to a position of leadership in a team event in a sport that is for the most part a solo pursuit, it represents a unique challenge.
Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk are vastly experienced in their profession, and yet captaining their respective teams in France will test them in ways they have never been tested before.
Both must be braced for the incongruity of being in a setting so familiar – a golf course, packed stands, expectant atmosphere – and yet harbouring a palpable sense of stepping into the unknown.
The fate of a team, a nation, a continent rests on their shoulders, producing a level of pressure unlike anything they will have felt up to now.
Furyk's blithe assertion on Monday that "it's never going to be about the two of us up here" might well come back to haunt him.
When the chips are down, it will most certainly be about the two men at the top.
And should the worst happen and your team loses, you had better believe that the most scathing questions will come your way.
The public autopsy carried out on the still warm cadaver of Tom Watson's failed captaincy in 2014, with Phil Mickelson wielding the scalpel, was traumatising. It still is.
But both skippers repeatedly underlined how this event is all about the players. The intent behind that approach is not to absolve themselves of any personal liability, rather it is to empower their teams to seize the opportunity before them.
It is perfectly acceptable for a winning captain to direct the warm glow of the spotlight to fall entirely on his charges, but for a losing captain to do likewise would be regarded as weak and not befitting a true leader.
For now, with the result not yet known, it is a safer, more modest approach to place the emphasis on those who will play the shots, rather than call them.
Asked how they would summarise their roles this week, both reduced themselves largely to the function of cheerleaders.
"I've always taken a position where I've been on tour and in Ryder Cup teams, it's always been about the 12 players," said Bjorn, who tasted victory in all three of the continent-versus-country events he played in.
"For me, it's a situation of just getting in that team room and getting them out on the golf course and [letting them] do what they do best.
"My role is to be the support and lead them in the right direction."
Furyk added that he had taken valuable lessons from his playing career that he would draw on over the three days of competition.
"We've had a number of experiences both as players and vice-captains in this role and I think you can take bits and pieces from the captains I've admired before me and obviously we've learned along the way," he said.
"I really felt like I was taking notes along the way as a young player, hoping one day for the opportunity and I'll try to draw from all those experiences and add bits and pieces to this year and this team."
This time next week, one man will boast the honour of being a Ryder Cup-winning skipper, while the other will feel the heavy burden of defeat. Both will have to take a captain's share of the responsibility. And that is no small thing.
|Football needs people like Arsene - Pires keen for Wenger return|
|Abbas five-for torments woeful Australia as Pakistan take control|
|Henry: Wenger and Guardiola inspirations for my coaching career|
|Pires backs Henry and Vieira for Ligue 1 success|
|Bolt rejects Valletta offer|
|Wenger ready for January return to management – but where?|
|NBA 2018-19: The LeBron James effect on teams he has joined|
|Svitolina qualifies for WTA Finals after Pliskova loses|
|Genoa will sell ´superstar´ Piatek, admits president|
|Moutinho targets European qualification with Wolves|
|Embiid: 76ers-Celtics isn´t a rivalry, they always kick our a**|
|Vinicius ´calm´ as he waits for Real Madrid chance|
|Nothing else to say - Ramos posts clip of supposed Sterling stamp|
|Chiellini joins Mind the Gap campaign to help players prepare for retirement|
|Injured Kusal Perera replaced by Kusal Mendis in Sri Lanka squad|
|Big names return for Scotland´s November Tests|
|Essien tells Loftus-Cheek to stay and fight for Chelsea chance|
|Nainggolan relishing challenge of first Milan derby|
|Curry: Slap me if I tire of championship celebrations|
|Sevilla don´t fear Messi or Barca – Kjaer|
|Low: Dropped Muller is still very important for Germany|
|Hayward put ´dark memories´ behind him with Celtics return|
|I hope I´m in Klopp´s good books! - Koeman jokes after resting Wijnaldum|
|Rested Fellaini should be fit for Manchester United, says Martinez|
|France´s mentality must be right - Lloris|
|Bellinger seals dramatic win as Dodgers level up NLCS|
|Curry, Durant lead Warriors past Thunder|
|Kjaer surprised by LaLiga-leading Sevilla as Machin´s men remain grounded|
|A-League preview: Honda the big arrival as fascinating season awaits|
|Mexico 0 Chile 1: Sanchez helps La Roja to late win|
|Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener|
|United States 1 Peru 1: Flores salvages late draw for visitors|
|Martinez not worried about Belgium depth|
|Red Sox move ahead of Astros in ALCS|
|Depay ´a joy to watch´, says Koeman|
|Timberwolves owner looking to trade Butler, backs Thibodeau|
|Shepard says Giants have ´total faith´ in Manning|
|Hazard is out of this world – De Ligt enjoys Belgium test|
|Tite: Brazil were better than Argentina|
|Foley eyes World Cup after re-signing with Wallabies, Waratahs|
|Low slams decisive France penalty call|
|I fined him for his goal at Old Trafford! Giggs delighted for Wales hero Wilson|
|Matuidi lauds Deschamps´ tactical nous after Germany win|
|Scaloni excited by Argentina despite Brazil loss|
|Tsonga back in business, Dzumhur dumped out in Moscow|
|Germany suffer six defeats in a year for first time|
|Many clubs have asked about Piatek - agent|
|Bartomeu: Barca open to defensive reinforcements after Vermaelen injury|
|Bonn spoil PAOK´s landmark European game|
|Konta conquers Mertens in Moscow|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 1: Wilson stunner moves Giggs´ side top|
|France 2 Germany 1: Griezmann delivers Low blow as Les Bleus reign in Paris|
|Belgium 1 Netherlands 1: Groeneveld cancels out Mertens strike|
|Argentina 0 Brazil 1: Miranda heads late winner after rivalry fails to ignite|
|Messi would struggle in this Manchester United team – Scholes|
|Falcons place Devonta Freeman on injured reserve|
|Westbrook ruled out of Thunder opener|
|Wilder´s team open to Joshua talks|
|Brentford appoint Thomas Frank as new head coach|
|England´s perfect performance sets the standard - Trippier|
|Odell Beckham Jr. needs to create headlines on the field, says Giants owner|
|Robshaw joins list of England absentees|
|Chile need goals from Sanchez despite United form - Rueda|
|Modric reveals Ronaldo respect, ´will never play with´ Messi|
|Osaka can be one of the greats, says coach Sascha Bajin|
|Liverpool´s Naby Keita carried off injured in Guinea match|
|Duminy to miss Australia tour for shoulder surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari ready to ´challenge the impossible´ as Hamilton nears title|
|Umesh replaces injured Thakur in ODI squad|
|IAAF delay implementation of testosterone ruling amid Semenya challenge|