Wentworth, battered by wind and rain this week, almost turned into the Costa del Sol on Saturday so it was no shock to see Spain's Alejandro Canizares set the pace at the PGA Championship.
The son of former Ryder Cup stalwart Jose Maria moved one stroke ahead of Lee Westwood after six birdies and two bogeys secured a third-round 68 and a nine-under tally of 207 on a sun-kissed day at the European Tour's flagship event.
Westwood, bidding to win the tournament for the first time in his 20th appearance, was alone in second place after a 67.
Italy's Matteo Manassero (69) and Briton Marc Warren (70) were a further shot adrift on 209, while Lowry was just one shot further back.
After two pars to start the round, Lowry bogeyed the third hole but moved under par for the round after birdies at six and seven.
He had a blemish-free back nine in which he picked up two more shots (at 12 and 17) to card a 69 and finish the day in fifth place.
Sergio Garcia, the talk of the town following his racism row with Tiger Woods, is lurking ominously on 211 after a 68.
Paul McGinley moved up to a share of 39th after a two-under 70 left him on 216, which is the same position as Darren Clarke, who shot a level-par round of 72.
Damien McGrane and Peter Lawrie also shot level par rounds to leave them on 217 and 218 respectively.