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In his last 13 majors, Geoff Ogilvy has one win, six top 10s, nine top 25s and just one missed cut. (Photo: Getty Images)

T.J.'s Take: At least one person hasn't forgotten Geoff Ogilvy

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While most everyone is looking to Sergio Garcia as the favorite in the 137th Open Championship, PGATOUR.COM's T.J. Auclair points to Australia's Geoff Ogilvy as the man to beat at Royal Birkdale.

By T.J. Auclair, PGATOUR.COM Interactive Producer

SOUTHPORT, England -- "The Open" is a most appropriate name for the only major championship contested in Europe. Especially this year's 137th edition at Royal Birkdale.

In case you live under a rock on the planet Mars, you know that Tiger Woods won't be gracing the golf world with his presence when the Open tees off on Thursday. Of course, it's not really his fault -- it's that surgically repaired left knee that's got Tiger holed up and probably going insane since he can't compete.

Having been in Southport for four days now, I can tell you that Tiger's absence has significantly minimized the buzz you expect at a major. I'm happy to report, however, that that only applies to the cynics in the media center -- or "centre" as it's known here. The golf fans from the United Kingdom are the most knowledgeable in the world. With or without Tiger -- and make no mistake, they still wish he were here -- they're still going to love their championship.

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Now that we have the Tiger deal out of the way, the general consensus in these parts is that Sergio Garcia is the man to beat and rightfully so. He was the runner-up a year ago and he's finished in the top 10 in six of the last seven years.

Enough about Sergio. And don't get me started on Ernie Els.

Instead, I want to tell you about a player who somehow, some way, always seems to be flying under the radar. I'm talking about Australian Geoff Ogilvy. For the love of a tap-in for birdie to win on the final hole, the guy is No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking and the last time I checked, he has more major wins (one, the 2006 U.S. Open) than Sergio, Adam Scott and Luke Donald combined.

However, those last three are always hyped up more than Ogilvy. Don't get me wrong, they all deserve the hype. But, what else does Ogilvy have to do? He's like Rodney Dangerfield -- he gets no respect.

Is it because he's won a major and two World Golf Championships already? Is he not zoned in on as a favorite because people feel he's been there and done that? That's the only thing I can think of.

Since 2005, there have been 14 majors contested. Ogilvy has played in 13 of those, winning once, finishing in the top 10 six times, the top 25 nine times and has just one missed cut.

He enters this week coming off three consecutive top-10 finishes -- the last of which was a tie for ninth at the U.S. Open. Ogilvy won the World Golf Championships-CA Championship in March and finished in a tie for second in his next start in Houston.

"I come here feeling pretty decent about my game," Ogilvy said. "I've played pretty well the last month or so. I played really well at Torrey. It was just one of those things. I was in great shape with two holes to play, and I'm one of 10 guys who can say that, but I didn't finish it off as well as I would have liked. But if you get in it after 62 or 63 holes, you're obviously playing well enough to be there right at the end."

Also, unlike the Masters, the Aussies have an outstanding record in the Open Championship with nine wins. That's fourth on the roll call of champions by country trailing Scotland (which won the first 29 Opens dating back to its inception in 1860, but has only produced two winners since 1921), the United States (41 wins and seven of the last 10) and England (27 wins, none since Nick Faldo's pair in the early 1990s).

The Aussies also have a nice history at Royal Birkdale, where they've won a third of their titles -- two by Peter Thomson and one by Ian Baker-Finch.

I'm not a gambling man, but there are plenty of betting parlors in England. As of Wednesday morning, Ladbrokes was offering 25-to-1 odds on Ogilvy, while Garcia was the favorite at 12-to-1.

If you're looking to put down a few quid, Ogilvy might not be a bad bet. After all, he could be putting down a few pints via the Claret Jug come Sunday evening.

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