Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson off to rough start at rainy Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga., April 7 (Reuters) - Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were among the early third-round starters who set out at rainy Augusta National on Saturday looking to conjure up something special and work their way into contention at the U.S. Masters.

With wet weather expected throughout most of the day, the scoring conditions at the year's first major may ease up as the rain should soften the notoriously fast Augusta National greens.

Overnight leader Patrick Reed will tee off at 2:30 p.m. ET (1830 GMT) with a two-shot lead over playing competitor Marc Leishman of Australia.

Three-times Masters winner Mickelson got his day off to a frustrating start with a triple bogey at the opening hole followed by a bogey at the second to fall 18 shots behind fellow American Reed.

Woods, playing two groups behind Mickelson and in his first major since 2015, made a bogey on the par-four first that left him 14 shots off the pace.

Among the contenders who will tee off later on Saturday are Swede Henrik Stenson, who is four shots behind Reed. Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who needs a win this week to complete the career grand slam, and world number four Jordan Spieth are both a further shot adrift.

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A patron wears a hat festooned with Masters pins during first round play of the 2018 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Sergio Garcia of Spain reacts to his tee shot on the fourth hole during first round play of the 2018 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the third tee as a gallery of patrons look on during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: A detailed shot of shoes worn by Bubba Watson of the United States are seen during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Patrick Reed of the United States plays a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Justin Thomas of the United States evalutates his second shot from the pine straw on the second hole during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Amateur Doc Redman of the United States plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Jason Dufner of the United States walks up the second hole during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: A Masters logo is seen on a cup during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Jack Nicklaus of the United States takes part in the opening tee ceremony prior to the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Vijay Singh of Fiji and caddie Danny Sahl approach the first green during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his third shot from a bunker on the second hole during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ATZENBRUGG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 08: Austin Connelly of Canada plays his second shot on the 3rd hole during day two of The 2018 Shot Clock Masters at Diamond Country Club on June 8, 2018 in Atzenbrugg, Austria. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Patrick Reed of the U.S. hits his second shot on the 9th hole during final round play of the 2018 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S. April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Patrick Reed of the U.S. celebrates winning the 2018 Masters tournament after final round play at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S. April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Patrick Reed of the U.S. hugs his caddie Kessler Karain as he celebrates winning the 2018 Masters tournament after final round play at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S. April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sergio Garcia of Spain (rear), last year's Masters' champion, helps put the Green Jacket on 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed following final round play of the 2018 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S. April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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(Editing by Clare Fallon)

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