As for Simpson, he is looking for his first win since the 2012 U.S. Open, and lost a playoff against Graeme McDowell at the Heritage in South Carolina. He is 14th in FedExCup standings and 19th in the world.
And for the next two days, he's playing with his friend and fellow Wake alum.
"I can't say enough nice things about Bill Haas," Simpson said. "When I got out on Tour in 2008, there was nobody nicer in terms of giving me advice, helping me out, whatever I needed. You know, it's rare to feel like there's a guy on Tour that roots for you because we're trying to beat everybody each week."
Jerry West is a frequent visitor to the tournament, walking several holes last year with Tiger Woods in the pro-am. On Wednesday, he walked with Simpson.
"I'm a huge basketball fan," said Simpson, who has watched his share of Atlantic Coast Conference hoops. "I met him before, but walk with him and hang out and talk a little bit about some players [was fun]. And we talked about Seth Curry - I know Seth from Charlotte, we played golf together.
"It was fun just to be out there."
Oh-oh-oh so zany trivia: Bubba Watson's Classic appearance is the first by one of the "Golf Boys" since Ben Crane finished 21st in 2010. But that gets an asterisk - the outrageous first "Oh Oh Oh" video wasn't released until 2011.
In that video, which drew laughter, derision and a combination of both, Watson golfed in overalls sans shirt. The other characters are Crane, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler.
The funny thing: Three of the four have risen in stature since. Watson owns a Masters championship and is ranked 19th in the world; Mahan won twice in 2012 and is No. 22; Fowler won at Charlotte in 2012 and is ranked 32nd. Crane hasn't played his best golf recently, but he has won four Tour titles.
The quartet tossed reverence to the wind again this year, releasing "Golf Boys 2.oh." So which one is better?
"Two, for sure," Watson said. "Two cost a little bit more money, so it was better."
Wednesday's footnote: The Ricky Barnes team took the pro-am, shooting a 19-under par 52. The amateurs were Mark McCullough, Dan Lee and Chuck West.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.