Paul McGinley would have been forgiven the odd nervous moment in the buildup. By the time the announcement arrived, the Irishman had cause to consider his strategy a successful one.
Other candidates appeared on the horizon and fell by the wayside. In this age of mass communication and instant media, there was no shortage of discussion about who should succeed José María Olazábal. On more than one occasion, it seemed consensus was building against McGinley. Three months ago the wave of support behind Darren Clarke appeared to render the former Open champion's 2014 selection inevitable. Ultimately, though, McGinley learned the value of dignified silence.
"It is amazing how much you learn when you listen and don't talk," he said. "I knew I had the support of the players and I knew my hand was strong. I felt the more I said, my chances would lessen."
There was, though, an occasional urge to offer some sentiment of his own. "I was very tempted to speak up," he said. "I've got a great wife and great friends around me. I respect their opinion, and those friends and Ali, my wife, told me to stay with dignity in this whole thing and don't get involved.
"When people had opinions I wanted to argue with them and I wanted to put a different point across but that's all private. I wanted to respond but I didn't want to respond through the whole media. I wanted to respond to that person and give them the other side of that argument.
"So I had views, and listened, but it was a strategy that I had. I thought that Ryder Cup captaincy was a very esteemed and honourable position and that it should be treated with respect and stand back; the less I said would be the better."
McGinley's subdued public stance during the captaincy process had been highlighted as deliberate early last year, when he said: "Nobody has ever gone out and badgered for the job and, if they have, they haven't got it. I don't want to say anything publicly that makes me sound like I'm looking for the job."
He benefited also from the unequivocal support of the world No1. "I have a very strong opinion about this," Rory McIlroy said earlier in the day. "I really think Paul deserves it. He has been a great player and a great personality for the European Tour over the years. I also played under him at the Seve Trophy in 2009 and he did a great job. From all the captains I've played under, he was the best."
McGinley has proved a successful captain and vice-captain in his previous team experiences. "Gaelic football was the sport I started with," he said. "My golf career is quite modest compared to a lot of the ex-captains and that is quite humbling for me.
"What I have always found, though, is that I performed extremely highly when part of a team. A psychologist might trace it back to those Gaelic football days, to being in a dressing room where you are all in the same corner. I just love a team environment. I don't know where that X factor comes from but I do seem to go to a different level when in a team."
The 46-year-old, a marketing graduate from the University of San Diego, entered Ryder Cup folklore by holing a 10ft putt to claim the old trophy for Europe at the Belfry in 2002. In the aftermath of that success, McGinley pointed to the importance of captaincy when Sam Torrance led Europe 11 years ago. "We won the Ryder Cup in 2002 because of Sam," McGinley said. "He was the difference in his man-management of each player. As much as everybody would have thought he was the rip-roaring, lionesque type of captain, Sam's meetings were very brief. We would sit in his hotel room and they would never last more than five minutes. But he put so much work into me. I would never have holed that putt on the 18th green without Sam."
McGinley knew this was his final chance to captain Europe. Clarke is odds-on for 2016 and Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington are edging closer to the honour. "I have business interests that are working quite well for me," McGinley said. "My life wasn't going to end if this captaincy didn't happen."
The buildup to McGinley's unveiling highlighted one other thing: that the selection process for European Ryder Cup captains is deeply flawed. The system is convoluted, vague and leads to the kind of murky political chicanery that is unbefitting of such a coveted role.
When the dust settles on McGinley's confirmation, it would be a positive move were the European Tour to move towards an alternative plan for future years. George O'Grady, the Tour's chief executive, confirmed only that such matters would be "looked at" when the opportunity arises.
McGinley need not concern himself with that. Ireland's first Ryder Cup captain will lock horns with one of his heroes, Tom Watson, in the country dubbed the home of golf. "I would like very much to have a Scottish theme and a Seve [Ballesteros] theme to what we do at Gleneagles," McGinley said.
The most important ingredient is victory. McGinley has afforded himself the opportunity to plot just that.
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