In a year that featured arguably the greatest football World Cup in history, it is entirely possible that the Ryder Cup will go down as the best sporting event of 2018.
This is a competition that elevates golf to new heights, even more dizzying than the magic of the Masters or the historic aura of the Open Championship.
Even those who would not readily identify themselves as fans of the sport invariably end up captivated by this titanic clash between continent and country, while a resurgent Tiger Woods fresh off his first PGA Tour win in over five years provides another element of intrigue and excitement.
True enough, the 2016 edition proved sufficiently one-sided to remove that element of competitive drama, the United States easing to victory by a six-point margin.
And there is talk of a similar outcome this time around at Le Golf National, with Jim Furyk's Team USA boasting, by many measures, the strongest line-up in Ryder Cup history.
But it is one of the tournament's many wonders that you simply cannot discount the underdog.
In any case, how much of an underdog can you be when you boast the newly crowned FedEx Cup champion and a combined total of eight majors, spanning all four headline events?
Team USA also carry the heavy burden of past overseas failures, with a quarter of a century having now passed since they last triumphed on European soil.
Throw into the mix skipper Thomas Bjorn's charmed relationship with the Ryder Cup – three wins out of three as a player, three from four as a vice-captain – and any notions about this being a foregone conclusion should rapidly evaporate.
It is a fascinating spectacle to see players who have spent the whole season competing against one another join as a team.
Despite being close friends, the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson remain largely inscrutable when playing together on the tour, constrained by the shackles of on-course rivalry and personal ambition such that the prospect of cheering one another's good moments is a remote one indeed.
But at Le Golf National, that ability and indeed willingness to revel in the successes of others will be unbridled. We will see professional golfers, the very best on the planet, act as fans do – relishing the quality of the play, consumed by the drama.
On both sides, men whose working pursuits so often lead them to plough a lone furrow, save for the solace of their caddies, will have team-mates at their side, a captain to lead them, and the undiluted support of millions.
That is the rarefied atmosphere in which so many great players have flourished and produced moments that have cemented the Ryder Cup's status as one of sport's most iconic events.
Soon... pic.twitter.com/96URyLbUEo— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 16, 2018
23 de marzo 2019
|Thunder stay tied with surging Clippers after big win over Raptors|
|Svitolina, Muguruza exit Miami Open|
|Brady, SuperSonics and the iPod shuffle – the last time LeBron missed the NBA playoffs|
|LeBron, Lakers eliminated from playoff contention|
|Mexico 3 Chile 1: Martino makes winning start|
|Ronaldo display not a focus for Santos|
|Harden equals own Rockets record|
|Isner edges through as Thiem, Nishikori exit|
|Djokovic brushes past Tomic in Miami opener|
|Casey, Cook share Valspar Championship lead|
|Thiem crashes out in Miami|
|MLB 2019 preview: Predicting the AL´s division champs, pennant winner, award getters|
|MLB 2019 preview: Predicting the NL´s division champs, pennant winner, award getters|
|Dier injury could open door to Rice|
|Messi and Ronaldo frustrated on international returns|
|Hudson-Odoi ´speechless´ after becoming youngest competitive England debutant|
|Sterling has come full circle for England – Southgate|
|Giroud is unfairly criticised, says Deschamps|
|Injured Messi to miss Morocco friendly|
|Santos convinced Portugal will be spurred on by Ukraine stalemate|
22 de marzo 2019
|Scarlets hammered by Blues, Leinster beaten in Edinburgh|
|Northampton´s fast start sees off Leicester|
|Southgate applauds ´electric´ Sterling after hat-trick|
|Sterling the symbol and superstar of Southgate´s England|
|Struggling Giants and high-flying Saints enjoy big victories|
|Moldova 1 France 4: Les Bleus cruise in opening Euro 2020 qualifier|
|Argentina 1 Venezuela 3: Messi stunned on international return|
|England 5 Czech Republic 0: Sterling hat-trick gives Three Lions roaring start to Euro 2020 qualifie|
|Portugal 0 Ukraine 0: Ronaldo´s comeback falls flat|
|Mancini: Kean ready for Italy start|
|Luis Enrique not looking to experiment in Spain´s new era|
|Osaka eases into third round in Miami|
|Morris and Steyn rattle Sri Lanka to clinch T20 series win|
|In-form Andreescu moves past Kenin in Miami|
|Icardi still not available, Inter confirm|
|Wigan won´t hold Edwards to deal ´cemented by a handshake´|
|Finch and Marsh lift Australia past Pakistan|
|Nainggolan keen to repay Spalletti faith at Inter|
|Brandt confident Germany can return to the top|
|PSG dub themselves ´champion´ of Instagram|
|Birmingham City considering appeal over nine-point deduction|
|World Rugby urges tier-one nations to be open-minded about global championship|
|Republic of Ireland international Walters retires from football|
|Semenya optimistic despite CAS delay in case against IAAF|
|Greipel excited for Tour de France return|
|IPL 2019: All you need to know as cricket stars descend on India|
|Welbeck back in Arsenal training after broken ankle|
|Goretzka urges fans to ´stand up with courage´ to racism|
|Euroleague condemns death threat aimed at CSKA´s Clyburn|
|Birmingham City given nine-point deduction|
|Courtois: I´m still one of the best, even if the Spanish press want to kill me|
|Rooney credits Guardiola for Sterling development|
|Neymar charged with ´insulting/molesting acts against match official´ by UEFA|
|Cam Newton swears off sex for a month to become ´mentally stronger´|
|Verstappen not getting carried away after Aus GP podium|
|Bale: Ronaldo problems ´were never there´|
|Injured Florenzi drops out of Italy squad|
|Wales heroes Jones and North sidelined for a month|
|Uruguay 3 Uzbekistan 0: Tabarez´s side through to China Cup final|
|Beardsley charged by FA|
|Pieters edges ahead in Kuala Lumpur as Elvira and Fraser drop back|
|Vunivalu hat-trick maintains Storm´s winning start|
|Yorkshire dismiss Smith rumours|
|We had a bad game, especially me - Doncic frustrated by Mavericks defeat|
|Blues end winless streak with Highlanders victory|
|PSG question claims of fans carrying weapons ahead of Chelsea clash|
|Wales captain Jones crowned Six Nations Player of the Championship|
|Warriors locked in for playoffs – Thompson|
|No offers yet for Jovic, insist Frankfurt|
|LeBron ready for Lakers return against the Nets|