(Image: Dave_D/Flickr)

If you’d love to play at Bethpage Black–the legendary public course and site of this year’s U.S. Open–here’s your chance.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, qualifying for the “Virtual U.S. Open” begins online today, thanks to the World Golf Tour. Incredible HD images of Bethpage have been compiled to make this virtual version of the course strikingly realistic.

Qualifying ends on June 21. The top 156 qualifiers will battle it out on June 22 for the title of “Virtual U.S. Open” champion. The winner will be the USGA’s guest at the real-life U.S. Open in 2010.

Sounds fun. I might actually tinker around with this, but I have no shot.  I simply don’t have the time to play much online gaming anymore. I’m sure there’s 156 World of Warcraft dweebs out there just waiting to make their mark on the virtual golfing world.

The tournament is free. So if you have the time, fire at the pins.