It left him four shots clear heading into Sunday and 'Lowry!' chants rang out around the course, which was again packed to capacity when he returned for the final round.
The Irishman with the big beard shot an 8-under 63 to take a four shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood and five over J.B. Holmes.
Several other players, notably Englishman Fleetwood, tucked into the third-day birdie-feast but they could not keep pace with the 32-year-old from across the border. "But everyone in Northern Ireland who came out to watch me, they definitely played theirs". 'And just full of gratitude towards every single one of the people that followed me to the very end and was willing me on. It was one of those days where I found myself pinching myself out there. "Felt as though I probably struck it the best I've struck it all week", Smith said.
Fleetwood, who had been calmness personified throughout the day, was left wondering quite how his near-perfect round of 66 had left him trailing the leader by four shots. "If it got too firm some of those pins would be really tough to get at". If you look at what (Ben) Hogan did with his setup, it looked not square at all but he was able to flush it. It was a day that I'll remember. "I just can't believe what it was like". "But that's it. I'm just happy with how I played".
Instead it quickly became a fight for survival as buffeting wind and rain lashing the coastal links course in Northern Ireland made pars gold.
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Strong winds and rain meant the chances for the players hoping to catch Lowry - led by Fleetwood at 12 under with four-time major victor and world number one Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose (both nine under) lurking - were reduced unless the top two made a mess of the start to their rounds.
Lowry held a four-shot lead in the US Open in 2016, only to lose it as Dustin Johnson won his first major.
Winning a major golf tournament has to be a Tier 1 day in anyone's life (OK, so it was just another week for Tiger Woods 15 years ago).
Cries of "Ole Ole" broke out as Lowry then nailed his approach on the 17th before another birdie dropped.
A brilliant driver off the deck from the fairway at seven finished in a two-putt par and putting from above the hole on nine saw Smith make the turn in even-par.
Lowry has been on fire all week at the testing course and is now just eighteen holes away from his first major win.
As he started the more hard back nine, Lowry no doubt recognized that it was way too early to start planning his victory speech.