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
10 de diciembre 2018
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9 de diciembre 2018
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|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
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|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
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|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
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|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
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|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
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|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|
|Joshua wants Wilder and Fury fights – Hearn|