Pavin's captaincy credentials spot on
Mickelson was going through the motions, smiling away, dodging controversy and giving his usual diet of golfing cheese. At one point he suggested that if American players could win the President's Cup (the biennial US v non-Europe Rest of the World match) there was no reason why they couldn't do the same in Ryder Cups.
The eavesdropping captain, Paul Azinger, muttered: "I just hate that answer." You see Azinger understands the Ryder Cup in the way that Europeans do. He understands the history, what it means and that it provides the greatest golfing show on earth.
American teams in previous matches had seemed to miss that point. I'll never forget seeing a smiling Mickelson pushing a stricken buggy as his side were in the midst of their K Club thrashing in 2006.
Yes, Mickleson tried his hardest on the course but if appearances were correct, defeat didn't hurt as much as it should.
Azinger's task was to alter that attitude, not just in Mickelson, to alter the American team's overall perception of the Ryder Cup and, of course, he succeeded magnificently.
It seems that his chosen successor will have the same outlook. In simple terms, Corey Pavin gets the Ryder Cup. To him it's important, very important.
At this year's USPGA he told one reporter that he rated this biennial dust up higher even than the major championships. That's some call from a former US Open winner and it gives us a clue to how he will manage his team.
Pavin saw up close how a side can misfire when he was vice-captain to Tom Lehman at the K Club, but now it is his show.
Pavin's challenge is to build upon the momentum that the 16 ½ -11 ½ Valhalla victory should give to the US team.
It's amazing to think the Americans haven't won in Europe since 1993 when Pavin was playing the second of his three Ryder Cups.
No doubt he will endure plenty of media scrutiny as we reporters try to get him to say the wrong thing over his passion for American success. Plenty remember his Desert Storm cap in the war on the shore at Kiawah Island.
But when we get to Celtic Manor it will be fully 19 years since that controversial clash. It will hardly be relevant.
Pavin is an articulate and intelligent guy; he should be able to handle the questions.
The main issue he will have to wrestle with will be how to handle Tiger Woods. Every captain will tell you the want the world's best player in their team, but Woods has always made it clear where the Ryder Cup stands in his pecking order - certainly not in the same place as it does in Pavin's estimation.
This is what I'm looking forward to seeing most. How does Pavin make Woods as effective in a team environment as he is the rest of the time?
Will Woods be allowed his preferred early morning solo practice regime or will he be subject to team orders?
Will there be a Woods pod, if Pavin uses Azinger's idea of a compartmentalised line up? It worked so well at Valhalla, he must be tempted.
Olazabal is the preferred choice and were he to get the job, the defeated vice-captains from the last two matches would be up against each other.