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.
|We´re here to win! - Paine not happy celebrating a draw|
|Injured Thauvin out of Germany clash|
|Southgate hits out at early Premier League start|
|Modric to Inter talk is ´fantasy´, says Guardiola|
|Pats hand first loss to Chiefs after wild shoot-out|
|Cowboys, Ravens dominate as Pats beat Chiefs in NFL classic|
|Brady becomes first QB to 200 regular-season wins in NFL|
|Red Sox level series against Astros|
|Mbappe leaves red-faced Dembele on his backside|
|Red Sox ace Sale admitted to hospital with stomach illness|
|From UFC to NFL? McGregor throws pass for Cowboys|
|Ancelotti praises ´dangerous´ Mbappe|
|Uncapped Papalii named in All Blacks squad|
|Kane would star in LaLiga – Ramos|
|Guardiola unsure about Man City´s Champions League chances|
|Dzeko: Premier League return? You never know|
|Gurley dominates to help Rams beat Broncos|
|Butler expected to play Timberwolves´ opener against Spurs|
|I´m no wizard – Mancini asks for patience with Italy|
|The Messi and Ronaldo era is phenomenal – Guardiola|
|Dolphins defeat Bears in OT with 47-yard field goal|
|Almirola picks up win at Talladega|
|Wigan´s Sarginson wanted Grand Final glory in memory of brother|
|McLeish: Scotland keep shooting themselves in the foot|
|Sarries´ walking wounded a concern for Jones|
|Poland 0 Italy 1: Biraghi seals last-gasp win to keep final-four hopes alive|
|Seahawks top Raiders with blowout win in London|
|In-demand Hogg hints at Glasgow exit|
|Holder calls on Windies batsmen to step up after India whitewash|
|France´s World Cup win hurt me - Koscielny retires from international football|
|Bailey performs U-turn on Jamaica call-up|
|Evans becomes Buccaneers´ all-time leading receiver|
|Overlooked Alba is one of the world´s best, says Ramos|
|Del Potro a major ATP Finals doubt due to fractured patella|
|Gomez to replace suspended Stones for England|
|Luis Enrique applauds ´adaptive´ Southgate|
|Pepperell holds off Bjork for wire-to-wire British Masters glory|
|Steelers´ Shazier returns to Bengals´ stadium for first time since injury|
|Scotland 1 Portugal 3: Santos´ side pile misery on McLeish|
|Falcons prey on Toulon, Vunipola brothers injured in Sarries win|
|N´Golo Kante is fundamental for France – Lucas Hernandez|
|Real Madrid star Bale withdraws from Wales squad|
|50 Cent to meet Khabib for Bellator talks|
|Drink-driving charge does not change who I am – Lloris|
|Pavard backs Varane to beat favourites to Ballon d´Or|
|Gareth gives players more input - Henderson explains Southgate, Klopp contrast|
|Stephens qualifies for WTA Finals as Svitolina sits out Kremlin Cup|
|Disrespectful critics are treating us like amateurs - Hummels|
|Final Proteas-Zimbabwe T20 washed out|
|Deontay Wilder apologises for punching mascot on live TV|
|Irrepressible Djokovic hunting year-end number one|
|Henry has everything to be a success at Monaco – Deschamps|
|Shastri: Shaw plays like Tendulkar, Sehwag and Lara|
|Germany lose Boateng for key France fixture|
|Giorgi eases past Alexandrova to Linz title|
|Why not? I hope so - Lukaku harbours Serie A ambition|
|No regrets - ´Happy´ Hazard won´t sulk at Chelsea|
|Umesh inspires three-day victory after India´s early wobble|
|FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann dies, aged 51|
|Emery has improved me already, says Xhaka|
|Southgate backs under-fire Rashford|
|Let´s go, Floyd! - ´King´ Khabib calls out Mayweather|
|Koeman calm after Netherlands make history against Germany|
|Injured Van Dijk to miss Belgium clash|
|Brilliant Djokovic extends winning run with Shanghai title|
|Atletico Madrid ambition behind Griezmann´s Ballon d´Or desire|
|Teenager Yastremska dominates Wang to clinch maiden title|
|Garcia claims first title of 2018 to hit Pliskova´s Finals hopes|
|Manchester City deny Messi mega bid|
|Three times in 2019! - Triumphant Crawford ready to step up schedule|