Did Captain Molesworth lose his bet?

From Andrew Ward’s Golf’s Strangest Rounds:

“At 5.20a.m. on a September morning Captain Molesworth set out for a busy day at the Royal North Devon Golf Course. To win his match, he had to walk 3 miles (4.8km) to the links and play six rounds of golf under 660 strokes.

In the 1870s it was fairly common for sportsmen to bet on such feats of stamina. One of the most famous was W.G. Bloxsam’s attempt to play 12 rounds of the Aberdeen Links and walk 10 miles (16km) home to Schoolhill within 24 hours. He won his bet between 6a.m. on Tuesday 6 July 1875 and 1.15a.m. the following morning. ‘During the day he kept up his strength by copious libations of Liebig’s Extract of Meat in a liquid state’, we learn from the Aberdeen Golf Club minutes.

Captain Molesworth’s match, first agreed at the Whitsun meeting, was a focus for much talk and betting. His opponents were cheered by the moisture in the air that September morning. Having successfully walked ‘to work’, Molesworth was faced with a thick dew when he started playing at 6.10a.m. The conditions were as difficult as playing in heavy rain. The dew not only handicapped his first-round scoring – a 14 at the ninth hole, for instance – but also ruined his wooden clubs. The face of his driver dropped to pieces at the twelfth hole, and he was forced to rely on irons and his putter. His score of 120 was a brave one in the conditions, but it promised little for his supporters, who knew he needed to average less than 110 for his six rounds. He played his second round immediately, relying solely on iron clubs. He was lifted by a score of 105, but the third round was miserable. A 15 at the ninth hole led to a disastrous score of 122, and Captain Molesworth took his first rest (five minutes) at the end of the round. Scores of 108 (fourth round) and 102 (fifth) brought him back into contention. He had now played five rounds in 557 strokes, and a second consecutive round of 102 would complete six rounds in the required figure. His sixth-round score was 105. 662. Three over. Had he lost his bet?

I propose to post what transpired on Thursday 6th September. Feel free to speculate / discuss in the comments. No Googling orDuck Duck Going!

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