10:20 AM ET 07.21 | American Century Championship officials didn't know when -- or even if -- to expect the circus. There was a rumor Wednesday night that Michael Jordan might not show up for the popular celebrity golf tournament, which he had played in 16 of the previous 22 times, and he didn't participate in the pro-am Thursday, as usual. But 45 minutes before his tee time Friday morning, Jordan generated a buzz as only he can when he strode to the driving range in his custom-branded golf outfit. He last dribbled a basketball on an NBA court in 2003, yet, at age 49, Jordan still is the ultimate ringleader. Fans hustled toward him with jerseys, magazines and pieces of paper in tow, and the other celebrities all made a point to stop and say hello, even interrupting him during his practice session. The entourage was surprisingly small, just his fiancee, Yvette Prieto, and another friend, but the Jordan Rules have taken on a different tenor. Someone in a cart shuttled drinks to him in an insulated cup several times during the round, and he was escorted around the course by two sheriffs. Even NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin presumed Jordan pulled some strings to get him an invite. "Michael suggested it," Hamlin said of his first invitation to the event. "Whatever Michael says goes."