Golfstat founder Laesch dies at 62 after ALS battle

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Mark Laesch, the founder of Golfstat and one of the biggest innovators in college golf over the last 30 years, died Saturday after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 62.

Laesch launched Golfstat in 1984 and his stat-driven database, replete with live scoring and rankings, quickly became one of the most reliable tools for anyone with interests in or ties to the college game.

"I think what he did simply was a labor of love for him," Florida State men's coach Trey Jones told Golfweek. "He changed college golf."

Laesch's died about 15 months after he spotted his first symptom. He is the fourth person from his immediate family to die from ALS, as his father, uncle and most recently his sister also succumbed to the incurable disease.

Laesch is survived by his fiancee, Jennifer Porter, and his three children. As his physical abilities continued to diminish, he told Golfweek in November that his reliance on faith and his close circle of friends helped him to shoulder the burden of ALS.

"I remember Lou Gehrig said, 'I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.' Well I'm not going to go there, because I've got this disease," Laesch said. "But I do consider that I've got the finest friends on the face of the earth, and I have more people that love me than I deserve."