The Irishman entered the third Rolex Series event of the 2021 Race to Dubai occupying the final place on the World Points List and believed ahead of the week that his rivals would be "gunning" for him at Wentworth Golf Club.
With Bernd Wiesberger's strong showing looking almost certain to move him into an automatic place, the competition became even more intense on day three at European Tour HQ as Lowry and Lee Westwood jostled for a place.
Westwood started the day in the ascendency and while he carded a 71 for a five under par total, Lowry leapfrogged him.
A bogey on the 15th saw the positions flip, as did a birdie on the last that moved Lowry to 11 under in a share for seventh.
But when Adam Scott also made a gain on the 18th, Lowry was once again on the outside looking in by a mere 2.34 points.
"It's been a stressful week but I'm proud of myself and the way I've handled it and played some good golf and put myself in position," said Lowry.
"I've been in big, high pressure situations before and I'm not going to back down or shy away. I'm going to go out tomorrow and work as hard as I can to achieve my career long goal.
"I've played the European Tour, this is my 11th or 12th season, it's one of the things you want to do and I'm 34 now and time is ticking away.
"Not only do I want to be part of the team but I want to be part of the winning team. I feel like I can add a lot to that if I do get to Whistling Straits and hopefully I can do that tomorrow."
Wiesberger entered the week knowing a top 50 would almost certainly secure his place on the plane and he was next to Lowry at 11 under after a third round 67.
"Just focus on trying to win the golf tournament," he said. "You have to push forward and be positive in your approach over every single shot regardless of the outcome.
"Just be positive with that and I feel like I'm good enough to be on the leaderboard and it's nice to be there as well and it's such a great event with the crowd and to be able to play here and just enjoy it."