Frederick Mosteller and Poisson golf scores
Mosteller's Washington Post obituary, like various other online citations, credits "The World Series Competition" as "the first known academic analysis of baseball."
It showed that even a very good team relies heavily on luck in winning a short series. "The probability that the better team wins the World Series is estimated as 0.80," the abstract reads.
Pretty simple stuff now, but we stand on the shoulders of giants, etc.
The reason I run this note, redundant as it is following the postings of Bob and Mr. Kaufman, is that Bob sent me a link to another Mosteller abstract where we learn something about golf:
Professional golf players on the regular tour are so close in skill that a few rounds do little to distinguish their abilities. A simple model for golf scoring is "base + X" where the base is a small score for a round rarely achieved, such as 64, and X is a Poisson distribution with mean about 8.
I assume the base and Poisson mean vary by golfer.