Thursday, Simpson carded six birdies and no bogeys to take a one-shot lead entering the second round in Greensboro, NC.
Age seems to be an advantage in this event. Sam Snead won the last of his eight Greensboro titles at the age of 52 years, 10 months and eight days in 1965 - making him the oldest man in tour history to win an event.
Last year, a 42-year-old Hal Sutton proved victorious.
Now, its the 45-year-old Simpson whos out front.
At 6-under, Simpson is one-shot clear of Dudley Hart, Robert Damron, Shaun Micheel, Spike McRoy, Jeffrey Lankford, Aaron Baddeley and Jerry Kelly.
Kelly led through 54 holes of this years Players Championship. Paired with Tiger Woods in the final round, which spanned two days, Kelly shot 73 to finish in fourth place.
While Kelly is trying to capture his first tour title, Baddeley is just trying to make a cut. After qualifying for weekend play in his first PGA Tour event, the 2000 Honda Classic, the 20-year-old Australian has missed 11 consecutive cuts.
Its been over three years since Simpson last won on the PGA Tour. His playoff victory over Skip Kendall in the 1998 Buick Invitational was the seventh in a career that includes the 87 U.S. Open.
He also won in Greensboro in '87.
'There's a picture of me in the locker room and everybody says, 'Who is that guy?'' Simpson said in reference to his different appearance 14 years later.
Simpson missed the entire 2000 season due to a broken ankle he suffered while skiing during the New Year holiday.
Doctors told Simpson the ankle could heal without surgery, but such was not the case. He underwent surgery in August, which involved seven screws into the ankle and the need to use crutches for two months.
Fully recovered, Simpson is playing the 01 campaign on a special medical exemption. The exemption requires him to earn $391,075 in 29 events ' the numbers accumulated by the 125th player on the 2000 PGA Tour money list.
Simpson has thus far earned $52,830, having missed five cuts in nine starts.
Thursday at the Forest Oaks Country Club, Simpson birdied his first two holes on the front nine, and then birdied his first three on the back.
He concluded his scoring by carding a birdie 3 at the par-4 16th.
Im still trying to compete and have a little fun, said Simpson.
Ten players are tied for eighth place at 4-under. Included in that group is Ian Leggatt, who has yet to earn an official dollar this season. Leggatt has seven missed cuts and one withdrawal to his credit in eight starts.
Defending champion Sutton, who won last weeks Shell Houston Open, is four shots off the pace after opening in 2-under-par 70.
Full-field scores from the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic